Cottingley Springs traveller site plan to go to inquiry

Cottingley Springs traveller site near Gildersome.
Cottingley Springs traveller site near Gildersome.

The Secretary of State has called for an inquiry to be held over plans to expand the Cottingley Springs travellers site.

On Monday ward councillors received an email telling them Eric Pickles had decided to look into the application himself as the original proposal could conflict with national policies.

Morley Borough Independent councillor Robert Finnigan said: “This is good news because residents, parish councillors and even the travellers themselves do not want this to go ahead. What is required is more, smaller sites dotted around the city. This will benefit everyone because if the site is expanded it will have a significant impact on the local communities.”

Throughout the planning application process councillors and residents, including those living on the site at Gelderd Road near Gildersome, argued that it was large enough already.

But Leeds City Council gave the green light to the expansion plans..

Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Morley and Outwood Andrea Jenkyns, said: “I welcome this news, I know that both Coun Finnigan and local residents have been working hard and showing great opposition to this too, which is why I took them to meet the Secretary of State last year to put forward views on this and other proposed developments.”

Coun Finnigan added: “Now we are going to be bringing all the communities together to make sure that we do all we can to put up a good opposition at the inquiry.”

Leeds City Council secured government funding for a £1m expansion of the Cottingley Springs gypsy and traveller site in 2012 following a year long search for a new site to provide permanent pitches for local travelling families.