Leeds City Council is starting a consultation around a recommendation to extend the current permanent gypsy and traveller site at Cottingley Springs.
Earlier this year, Leeds City Council’s executive board asked officers to look for a permanent traveller site in the city that could form an area for a permanent traveller site to accommodate the 11 roadside families that are currently forming unauthorised camps across the city.
After an extensive review of all available sites in the council’s ownership, none of the sites were deemed appropriate. In light of this decision, at a meeting of the council’s executive board in September 2012 it will be recommended that councillors agree to look into the extension of Cottingley Springs.
The Council has already secured funding from the Homes and Community Agency for just over £1million to develop 12 new pitches for gypsies and travellers.
Along with looking at the possibility of extending the site, executive members will also be recommended to complement the expansion with the modernisation of the current site.
The council will be consulting with key stakeholders across the city including local residents to the area and the gypsy and traveller community amongst others.
Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:
“There are still issues in our city with the cycle of encampment and eviction, and this is costing the taxpayer money through legal action and site clear ups. This is not a situation we want to continue, therefore we had to look into alternatives.
“We have carried out extensive searches into all possible council sites in the city to see what can be immediately proposed and the possible extension of Cottingley Springs seems the right way forward.
“We have already secured funding from the HCA to develop 12 new permanent pitches, and therefore we should be able to use this money should we go ahead with developing Cottingley Springs.
“There is a definite need for permanent site allocation and we need to fulfil this commitment.”
At present Cottingley Springs has 41 pitches located on two different sub sites. The further 12 pitches will be created through better use of the current space and the land immediately adjacent.
For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450