Controversial Leeds traveller site proposals are rejected by council chiefs

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CONTROVERSIAL proposals for a new traveller site in south Leeds have been thrown out, city council bosses have announced.

The Yorkshire Evening Post revealed last week that the local authority was on the brink of rejecting an application for planning permission for the Valley Road scheme in Morley.

Now council bosses have confirmed the application has been turned down and set out the reasons for their decision.

Issues cited as being of concern include highway safety as well as contamination and drainage.

Coun Peter Gruen, the council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel, said: “As a council we are firmly committed to delivering on our obligations for gypsies and travellers. However, this site is wholly unsuitable, being contaminated and without sufficient infrastructure to make any potential site viable.”

Under plans submitted to the council earlier this year, the camp would have comprised 55 pitches on either side of Valley Road, near Morley railway station.

The proposal was subsequently reduced to 35 pitches in response to worries about potential flood risks.

Hundreds of residents lodged objections to the application, which was made by a Yorkshire businessman.

Morley MP Ed Balls was among the local politicians who pointed out that the camp would be less than two miles from an existing traveller site at Cottingley Springs.

PIC: James Hardisty

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