The controversial proposals for the expansion of Cottingley Springs travellers site, agreed by Leeds City Council last month, have been referred to the Secretary of State for planning.
The referral was confirmed by Brandon Lewis MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Planning, in a letter to Morley Borough Independent councillor Robert Finnigan.
Coun Finnigan said: “I am pleased the matter is now to be examined independently by Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for planning matters.
“Many local residents believe the decision to grant planning permission for the expansion of Cottingley Springs Travellers site was a political carve-up.
“This expansion had little support among the travelling community, with local residents or local businesses close to the site.
“It breached both national and local planning policies and that is the area I have asked Mr Pickles to focus on.”
Mr Pickles now has the option to call in the application and put it in front of a planning inspector who will arrange a public inquiry where local residents will be given an opportunity to voice their concerns.
Coun Finnigan said “This matter needs to be investigated fully.
“A public inquiry will test if the independence and integrity of the planning department has been compromised and will confirm if the decision was a legitimate one or not.
“I amlobbying Mr Pickles very hard to give local people the public inquiry they deserve.”
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