Council in legal move over site for travellers in Leeds

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Council bosses have moved to stop unauthorised work being carried out at a proposed travellers’ site in Leeds.

As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, plans have been drawn up for a 55-pitch site either side of Valley Road, near Morley train station.

No decision has yet been made by Leeds City Council on the application by a businessman for planning permission for the highly-controversial scheme.

It has now emerged, however, that unauthorised work has been taking place at the site in the absence of the sought-after green light.

The council today confirmed it had issued two stop notices to the owners of the land.

And, when those notices failed to have the desired effect, the authority went to court with the intention of getting an injunction.

In the event, an injunction was not required as the site owners gave a written undertaking to the court that the unauthorised work would end.

The owners will still be able to access the land to carry out jobs unrelated to the planning application.

Coun Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council’s executive board member responsible for neighbourhoods, planning and support services, said: “The owners have agreed to stop any excavating, demolition or occupying the site with caravans without the necessary planning consents.

“Any breach of this undertaking would be contempt of court and could result in a fine or imprisonment.”

News of the written assurance was welcomed by Coun Neil Dawson (Lab, Morley South).

Opponents of the plans point out that an existing travellers’ camp at Cottingley Springs is less than two miles from Valley Road.

PIC: Simon Hulme

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