Traveller loses bid to keep Gildersome site

A TRAVELLER’S bid to keep his mobile home on a piece of green belt land he owns in Gildersome has been refused.

Following a site visit to Gildersome Lane, members of Leeds City Council’s Plans Panel East, decided the two-bedroom home could not remain on the site it has occupied for nearly a year.

Panel member and Morley North councillor Robert Finnigan, said: “Whoever goes onto greenbelt, it doesn’t matter if you are Richard Branson and have a huge mansion or if you are a traveller, greenbelt is greenbelt and everyone gets treated the same.

“This is a victory for local people defending greenbelt from an inappropriate advance.”

Coun Finnigan said the mobile home was reported to him around 10 months ago when it was parked next to the stable and utility room already occupying the site.

Enforcement officers were sent round and a retrospective planning application was submitted.

James Garbutt, of Walker Morris solicitors, told the panel there was an “unmet need” for traveller sites in Leeds and that his client had lived at Cottingley Springs for 40 years before he was subjected to threats and violence.

He argued that his client had special circumstances to warrant him living at Gildersome Lane.

Coun Finnigan said the manager at Cottingley Springs had no knowledge of any difficulties and the “alleged special reasons didn’t stand up to analysis”.

The panel unanimously voted to refuse the application.