Battle against travellers site plan resumes

A group of residents in Stanley who have formed an action group in opposition to a proposed travellers site off Castle Gate
A group of residents in Stanley who have formed an action group in opposition to a proposed travellers site off Castle Gate
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CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a travellers site in Stanley have been recommended for approval despite hundreds of objections.

Campaign group Stanley Action said plans for a 10-pitch site, on Castle Gate, would harm green belt land, create safety hazards and ruin the look of the area.

But Wakefield Council’s planning committee has been recommended to approve the plan on Thursday, because it would help to meet targets for providing homes for travellers.

More than 500 letters were sent to the council, and villagers were backed by Outwood and Morley MP Ed Balls.

Coun Matthew Morley said: “Residents will continue their fight. We don’t think it’s a suitable use of green belt land, and we’re also worried about the proximity to the M62 and to Castle Gate which itself is a busy road.”

Last month a survey concluded that nearly 14 extra travellers’ pitches were required in Wakefield by 2022.

And in a report that will go before Thursday’s meeting, planning officers said this need overruled the council’s policy on green belt land.

A statement on behalf of the landowners said the site would have a simple appearance, would enhance existing planting on the site and that there were suitable local amenities.

And planning advisors D&J Ruttledge said last year that a warden would be on site at all times, maintaining the area and liaising with the council and police.

They said tenants would be asked to leave if three complaints were made about them, and that parking limitations would be imposed.