Leicester residents meet over traveller site plans

A public meeting is being held later over plans to create three new sites for Gypsies and travellers in Leicester.

The city council said its existing authorised site at Meynells Gorse was full and it needed to prevent unauthorised camps being set up.

Three sites in the north west of the city at Greengate Lane, Beaumont Way and Red Hill Way have been suggested.

The meeting is taking place at the Beaumont Leisure Centre at 19:30 GMT.

The council said it had looked at sites across the city and the chosen three appeared to be the most suitable in terms of impact on neighbours, access and distance from local families.

Loss of space

But some people living nearby say there has been a lack of information about the plans.

Roger Wilson, the county councillor for Birstall, said he only found out about the plans by listening to BBC Radio Leicester.

"That day I wrote to [Leicester's directly elected mayor] Peter Soulsby complaining that I hadn't been consulted," he said.

"I wrote to him giving the reasons why I felt that the site was perhaps wrong. He didn't even have the courtesy to reply."

Mr Wilson said that many people were concerned about the potential loss of green space.

"Essentially it was insulting to the community and also personally to myself because I had to pick up and still am trying to pick up the problems that it has left behind," he added.

Sir Peter Soulsby said the council had sent letters to residents, put information on its website and publicised the plans in the local papers.

"I'm absolutely convinced that we need to find some sites somewhere," he said.

"We have gone through a very long list of sites and come up with three possibles."

But he stressed that a decision has not yet been made.

"It may be that we have to go back yet again and look for some other alternatives," he said.

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