Statement in response to the decision by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to refuse the development of a Travellers' site at Cottingley Springs, Leeds:
Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council's executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel, said:
“Today’s decision is extremely disappointing, particularly in light of the scope and level of work we’ve put into finding a suitable site. The local community has been left in limbo for almost a year whilst a decision that should be made locally is taken out of our hands.
“Our work with the travelling community has been applauded as national best practice. We must find short- and long-term- practical solutions to meet the needs of our local communities as well as Travellers themselves to break the cycle of encampment and eviction.
“While we’re not afraid of a challenge, decisions like this make our work needlessly harder. The challenge doesn’t stop now and working with the core strategy and through the site allocations process, we need both public and private sites to come forward. We’ll consider all options for public sites and ask landowners to weigh up if their sites are suitable for this use.”
For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577