Eric Pickles has said that the final decision over whether or not to approve a traveller site based near Morley Station will rest with him.
On his visit to the town, Mr Pickles said that with the decision pending he could not express a personal view on the matter but insisted that he would look at it in a quasi-judicial way.
He said: “People have talked to me with great passion about it and when it comes to me I will look at it in a fair and reasonable way.
“We’ve changed the guidance in the legislation to make it more equal. Clearly populations want to ensure that we provide facilities for everybody and we need to respect people’s way of life, but that must be balanced with the rights of the people.”
Leeds City Council submitted an amended plan for a 35 pitch site on Valley Road last month, but the proposal has been met by around 1,500 official objections from local residents.