Fears over future of travellers’ site

Travellers site Brier Lane, Havercroft
Travellers site Brier Lane, Havercroft
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Councillors and people living in Havercroft and South Hiendley fear a travellers’ site between the two villages could be made permanent.

Wakefield Council granted temporary permission for six pitches on a greenbelt site just off Brier Lane, Havercroft, in 2011.

The travellers are due to vacate the site by December 31 but David Connor, acting on behalf of the travellers, has submitted an appeal against the decision to the council.

A public inquiry will now be held at Wakefield’s County Hall next month and those living near the site fear the pitches could be made into permanent residences.

Havercroft parish councillor Faith Heptinstall said: “This site has been very controversial over the years and people are worried as to what might happen in the future.

“There have been a number of concerns regarding the location, which is on greenbelt land, and alleged increases in anti-social behaviour in the surrounding area.”

The travellers were originally due to leave the site by the end of December 2012 as they were only granted temporary permission.

Wakefield Council refused them the right to make the site permanent at a meeting in March 2011 - but did grant an extension of the licence until December 31, 2015.

A South Hiendley parish councillor, who asked not to be named, said: “The land where the site is used to be absolutely beautiful.

“A farmer had animals on there and there was a nice hedgerow around it. It was lovely but now there is not a grain of top soil on it.

“The site is greenbelt land and plays an important role in keeping the villages separate.”