Leeds GATE

Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

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New Traveller Sites? We need your views

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  August 7, 2015 |

Leeds Town Hall owlIn mid-September Leeds City Council will be consulting on their plan for future Gypsy and Traveller sites. In simple terms there are two key parts to it; a public and a private. We will be looking for members’ opinions on either or both of these.

With respect to the public provision, the headline is that the Council have identified a handful of places which they think should be put aside for future development as a Gypsy and Traveller site.  These are pieces of land that the Council own and would be proposing to build and run themselves, similar to Cottingley Springs, though all smaller in scale.  What we will looking for is your views on these sites; do you like them or not and what are the good and bad points of each?

Of course, there would still be a number of steps to go through before the Council gets permission to go ahead and still more steps to actually get something built.  However, we cannot ignore the fact that the Council are now seriously thinking about building some new sites and are genuinely putting forward some concrete proposals so it would great if people could give their views on these.

The other part of the discussion concerns private provision. Most importantly, the Council want to know whether people can think of any places, beyond those already suggested in the plan, which could be developed as private sites.  The reason why it is vital to put across any such ideas now is that if a suggestion is successful, that piece of land could be taken out of greenbelt allocation.

Without getting too technical, land being within the greenbelt is a massive barrier to development so the possibility of being able to get a piece of land kept aside for Gypsy and Traveller use would be a very useful step forward.  Again, this does not guarantee getting permission but does overcome that significant barrier.  I stress again that the opportunity for pieces of land to be given such special consideration will be during this consultation so don’t miss your chance!

The consultation will start during the middle of next month and Leeds GATE will be hosting a couple of events to help people see what it is all about.  Stay tuned for more details but we hope to have some info available at Latter Lee festival and run a session at GATE’s office shortly after that.  In the meantime please get in touch if you have any questions or ideas.

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