Traveller family 'embedded with community' ask for permission to stay on Leeds allotment

A family of Travellers have asked for permission to stay on an allotment site, as they claim they will have to live on roadsides if evicted.

The family, which includes four children, has retrospectively applied to Leeds City Council for planning consent to remain on land off Sandgate Lane in Kippax.

It comes three years after a similar application for a neighbouring allotment in the area was turned down by the council, after more than 1,000 people objected.

The new application, which has been submitted on the family’s behalf by Guiseley-based consultants MAS Design, said: “The accommodation proposed is two touring caravans for habitable use as a home for the applicant and his family, who have roots in the community and seek to retain strong cultural links within an area that they have invested in themselves through education and healthcare.

Sandgate Lane, Kippax, near the allotments (Photo: Google)

“The caravans would have limited intrusion into the character of the area.”

Read More

Read More
Unfair bus fares for Leeds children ‘punishing poverty’, councillor says

The application also claimed that “Kippax has a surplus of green space and more acutely a surplus of allotment land.”

That’s despite councillors being told in 2019 there was a waiting list for allotments in the neighbourhood, when the previous application was rejected.

The new proposal also said the two younger children on the site, who are aged five and nine respectively, attend Ash Tree Primary School and that the family “are embedded with the community”.

It added: “Without the provision for pitches within an area they have links and roots to, the reality is that the family will be fully transient and likely to have to pitch up on roadsides.”

Although the council does provide a legal 41-plot Traveller site at Cottingley Springs in south Leeds, the application said the family could not live there.

It explained, “The applicant advises he has had previous altercations with other members of the travelling community” and added that “due to these family conflicts, a decision was made a made by the applicant to settle away from the public site at Cottingley Springs, in the interests of his family.”

Councillors rejected the 2019 application on the grounds the site was difficult for large vehicles to access and that it was designated greenspace.

The new application is likely to go before them either later on this year, or early in 2023.