Statement re the proposals for a Gypsy Traveller caravan park at Valley Road in Morley

Having assessed the proposals for a Gypsy Traveller caravan park at Valley Road in Morley, Leeds City Council has taken the decision to refuse this particular application.

Reasons for the refusal included issues relating to highway safety and contamination and drainage issues. The council will continue to look at every application very carefully and Leeds City Council’s recently agreed Core Strategy, which sets out the basis for planning and development in and around the city, includes planning policies on provision for Gypsies and Travellers.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive member for Neighbourhoods, Planning and Personnel, said:

“These Core Strategy plans were recently commended by a planning inspector and were developed in partnership with Leeds GATE and in line with government guidance. They offer an opportunity to provide facilities which best meet the needs of the whole community, providing value for money and setting out a longer term provision of sites which can be used.

“Originally plans were submitted which proposed 55 pitches, 40 car parking spaces and associated buildings. Although this has been revised to 36 pitches, the plans are still unsuitable and Leeds City Council cannot accept them for a wide range of reasons. 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.

“There have also been a wide range of views expressed by local people, councillors and others, as well as GATE. We have taken all these into account, and the application has therefore not been successful.”

Notes for editors

The Core Strategy identifies a need for 62 pitches up to 2028. Some 25 permanent pitches are to be managed by the council, along with nine pitches for temporary stopping, and up to 28 pitches may be developed privately on smaller sites for families throughout Leeds.

Leeds City Council’s ‘Site Allocations Plan’ seeks to identify appropriate sites. Local people and Gypsies and Travellers are encouraged to participate in this, including via their representatives at Leeds GATE. We are currently waiting for the outcome of an inquiry by the Secretary of State at Cottingley Springs, Gildersome, which will determine whether 12 pitches can be delivered to meet these needs. The council is also dealing positively with a planning application for 11 temporary pitches at Kidacre Street.

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