Leeds traveller camp plan scaled down – but objections will stand

The site of the proposed travellers' site on Valley Road,  Morley
The site of the proposed travellers' site on Valley Road, Morley
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Controversial plans for a new travellers’ site in Leeds have been scaled down – but protestors have been told their objections to the original proposal will still count.

More than 1,500 people have contacted Leeds City Council to voice concern over the idea for a camp either side of Valley Road near Morley railway station.

The initial plan, in the name of Billy Elam, was for 55 pitches, but that has now been reduced to 35 in response to concerns about the potential flood risk.

It will be discussed at a meeting of the council’s plans panel later this month.

Coun Robert Finnigan, who is supporting the objections, said: “I am informed by planners that the 1,500-plus objections they have received will count as objections to the new proposal.

“Residents will get letters to confirm the new proposal but they can be assured that their opposition to the plan will be carried over.”

A co-ordinated campaign has seen the council inundated with objections from residents of Morley.

A page called ‘how to oppose the Morley traveller site’ on Facebook – set up to tell people how to formally object – has been liked by more than 1,000 users.

Morley and Outwood MP Ed Balls has also voiced his opposition to the plan, saying it is “clearly in the wrong place”.

Last month the council had to step in to order unauthorised work to stop.

The objectors’ concerns centre around the impact on the services of Morley. A letter sent by some objectors states: “Morley does not have the capacity to support a traveller’s site.

“Any further developments in Morley, be it a travellers’ site or a new housing development, must include additional provision to support Morley’s public services. Of particular importance is the need for more school places, improved roads and an increase in the number of GPs.”

Coun Finnigan added: “This is an overly large site on significantly contaminated land and is an inappropriate location.”

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