Travellers switch sites in Leeds

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Travellers have moved from one illegal Leeds encampment to another just yards away before legal proceedings to evict them were rumoured to being going to court.

The caravan dwellers have shifted from a site in south west Leeds to another illegal location on more private land just a stone's throw across the Outer Ring Road at Wortley.

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It is believed that the owners of the new site will now also be faced with instituting court action should they wish to have the travellers and their caravans, cars and trucks cleared from the land.

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The Yorkshire Evening Post reported last November that caravans had moved on to waste open land at Royds Lane at the junction of the A61 Leeds-Huddersfield and Outer Ring Road close to the Wheatsheaf pub after fencing panels were removed without permission.

Within days a total of nine caravans had arrived on the site, vehicles were parked and children were playing amid cockerels and roaming dogs.

Before arriving at the first Wortley site the travellers had been legally evicted from other privately owned land close to a Mitsubishi dealership at Cross Green, Leeds, earlier that morning.

Soon after pitching at the Royds Lane site last November it was understood that police were in discussions with Leeds City Council and the travellers' organisation the Leeds Gypsy and Travellers Exchange (GATE) in an effort to find them a more appropriate temporary site.

At that time when a YEP reporter spoke to a representative of the travellers calling himself Mike, he said that he and his friends had occupied the land at Wortley as they had nowhere else to go.

He said he felt that they were being harrassed by the council and other authorities.

Campaigners have repeatedly called for a new, expanded permanet travellers' site in Leeds. Two Leeds sites which looked set to become permanent traveller encampments were ruled out by council bosses last year but they vowed to "continue to look for a solution" and to "not shy away from the issue".

Millennium Square and Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds City Centre.

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