IT is with great regret that Wakefield MDC did no include a full section for the “siting of permanent travellers camps” in the Local Development Framework.
This failure has led to attempts by travellers and Wakefield planning departmen to set up sites throughout the district which are ill-conceived, inappropriate, and unwanted by the majority of the general public as can be seen in the recent protests at Ossett and Walton.
Surely a well-planned site run by Wakefield Council in secure surroundings is not an impossibility for the travelling community to expect and receive in this day and age?
The reason for WMDC not to include such a site in the LDF is due entirely to local communities’ outcries, and objections, wherever such a settlement is planned. After all, no-one is ever going to vote for an elected member again if a travellers’ site is placed in the middle of a local community such as Ossett or Walton if their local elected member does not object.
Such a site would require constant attention to ensure even a reasonable relationships twix travellers and local communities is to exist, not an easy objective.
However such a site does exist on the boarders of Castleford, Normanton and Featherstone next to the proposed new state of the art Divisional Police Headquarters at Havertop Lane (Normanton).
This new building will be undoubtedly well protected with full security, banks of surveillance cameras, 24-hour on-site police to protect the prison handling, intelligence officers etc. and all this under one roof. This would ensure that any travellers site in close proximity would be well protected from unwanted intruders, that the police presence would prevent illegal fly tipping, in or near their site, illegal fires spreading smoke across the area, also preventing unauthorised and illegal travellers within any other part of the Wakefield district as they would have a perfectly run and secure site for all travellers to reside in, or simply visit for short periods as their name implies.
No reasonable law-abiding traveller could object to such a well thought-out proposal. This in turn would help promote better relationships between the police and the travelling community and prevent discord between other communities and travelling folk.
I trust that WMDC planning department and elected members will give this suggestion their closest attention as they certainly have made a horrendous mistake by leaving this thorny issue out of the LDF.
Altofts Lodge Drive