Selby traveller plans councillor 'unhappy to be next door'

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A council leader heading up proposals to create a travellers' site in a North Yorkshire village has admitted he would not be happy living next door to it.

A petition with 600 signatures has been collected by residents of the village of Riccall against the idea.

Selby District Council leader Mark Crane said 60 potential sites had been found, including one behind his house.

Travellers said a shortage of pitches was a real problem and urged people not to be negative about their community.

The list of potential sites includes areas across Selby.

'Not ideal'

The council plans to provide either one site roughly the size of two football pitches or two smaller ones.

Mr Crane said: "One of the sites is literally about 10 yards from where I live so I wouldn't want people to think I've picked on other areas and not chosen my own."

The Conservative councillor added: "To be candid, no I wouldn't be happy if it was chosen behind my house."

Riccall resident John Duggen, who set up the petition, said: "Northfield Lane, if that was the entrance to the site, is a very narrow lane and in my opinion would be unsuitable for large vehicles.

"In many respects it's not the ideal site."

But Violet Cannon, from the travelling community, said the shortage of pitches was a real problem in North Yorkshire.

She added: "People are so negative. They condemn us before they even know us.

"We do need sites and until we get those sites there will be a problem with people camping at the roadside."

The consultation period ends on 21 March.

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