York & North Yorkshire

Selby council's plans for traveller site rejected

A council's plans to turn part of an airfield into a permanent Gypsy and traveller site have been rejected by its own planning committee.

Selby District Council in North Yorkshire chose Burn airfield as its preferred location for a 15-pitch site.

But its planning application was rejected by a majority of seven to four.

The council said it had a legal duty to supply pitches and would consider the "wider implications" of the decision.

'Totally dominating'

The application for the site near the village of Burn, south of Selby, had been recommended for approval.

The plans attracted 104 letters of objection, and Burn Parish Council submitted a petition containing more than 500 signatures.

The chair of the parish council, Chris Phillipson, said the proposed site was "too big" and would be next to an existing traveller and Gypsy site containing 12 pitches.

He said: "It would have been totally dominating.

"We need to work together, we [as a parish council] need to be working with Selby and helping them open up a dialogue with the Gypsy population, and do something right for the district.

"We live side by side with our Gypsy residents, we get on with them, and a lot of them have been on our existing, privately-run, site for more than 30 years."

In a statement the district council said it had a "statutory obligation to provide pitches for the travelling community" and still needed to create 33 pitches over the next 15 years.

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