Complaint over Cottingley Springs lodged with ombudsman

Cottingley Springs, the first 'official' site for travellers, was built by Leeds City Council in 1969.
Cottingley Springs, the first 'official' site for travellers, was built by Leeds City Council in 1969.
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A formal complaint against the decision making process over the Cottingley Springs travellers site expansion plan has been rejected.

Coun Robert Finnigan has confirmed that he has now lodged his own complaint against Leeds City Council with the ombudsman.

Coun Finnigan said: “My complaint related to a series of refusals by Leeds City Council to accept the application, it has ignored its own policies on both planning and traveller sites and lodged an ill-considered application to expand Cottingley Springs.

“Their proposal was comprehensively rejected by both the Planning Inspector and the Secretary of State who confirmed there were no legitimate grounds for the application.

“This poor decision making has cost local taxpayers £70,000.”

Once a complaint has been made through the council’s internal complaints process and rejected it can be investigated by the Local Government Ombudsman who will examine the council’s decision making process to see if maladministration has occurred.

If the Ombudsman finds against the council then a compensation payment can be made.

Coun Finnigan said: “Many local residents have had to dig deep into their pockets to fight this inappropriate application by seeking professional advice and support.

“The least they deserve, taking into account the comprehensive nature of the rejection of this application, is their money back.”