Don’t plonk this on our doorstep

DEWSBURY and Mirfield Tory MP Simon Reevell has vowed to fight plans for a gipsy site at Shaw Cross.
Wakefield Council wants to close Owl Lane tip and turn it into a permanent site for travellers. Mr Reevell, who attended a packed and angry public meeting at Ossett Town Hall last week, has launched a petition calling on the plans to be ditched.
Even though it is not his constituency Mr Reevell has got involved because the people who will be worst affected are those in Shaw Cross, Earlsheaton and Hanging Heaton.
Mr Reevell said: “I have no doubt Wakefield Council thought they could push this through because no Wakefield residents would be affected.
“They expected that Kirklees would take the backlash but I think they were taken aback by the number of Ossett people who are opposed to this.”
Mr Reevell said the council officials at last Thursday’s meeting were like “rabbits caught in the headlights” and added: “There was a strength of feeling that you rarely see.”
Mr Reevell accused Wakefield Council’s planning department of an “empirebuilding” attitude and said the proposals could and should be stopped immediately.
“Nobody is forcing this development on Wakefield Council,” said Mr Reevell.
“In the past the Government took too much of an interest in traveller sites and started telling councils how many they should build in their patch.
“The coalition has said that this will end. It will be for local councils to make the decision.
“The emphasis has completely changed and Wakefield should come forward and admit that it is their decision to push ahead with this site and therefore should ensure that it is the people of Wakefield who are affected.
“Kirklees have decided that they do not want or need a traveller site and that decision should be respected.
“They should not have to put up with a site being sneakily plonked on their doorstep by another local authority.
“The strength of public feeling against this traveller site is overwhelming,” said Mr Reevell, who has already written to Wakefield Council leader Coun Peter Box.

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