Leicester residents consulted over traveller sites

People in Leicester are being asked to consider whether three new sites should be allocated to Gypsies and travellers.

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

The three possible sites are in the north west of the city at Greengate Lane, Beaumont Way and Red Hill Way.

They would have between six and 10 family pitches. A public consultation on the plans will last for six weeks.

'Properly run'

Leicester city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: "Residents have raised with us their concerns over the numbers of unauthorised Gypsy and traveller camps in the city, which cost a great deal of time and effort for the council to deal with.

"Moving travellers on from these unauthorised camps doesn't solve the problem - it just moves it to a different part of the city.

"By creating enough space in authorised, well-managed travellers' sites, we can help ensure they are properly run and secure sites, where residents will pay rent, council tax and charges for gas, electric and water."

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

More integration

Tracy Nedic, chairperson of the Leicester Gypsy Council Liaison Group, said: "We are no different than anybody else and we just want to get on with our lives peacefully.

"It would be nice because maybe we could integrate more with the settled community and just let them get to know us.

"We are not all what you see on TV, you know, we don't live like that. That's television, this is real life and it's a serious matter, where we need the homes.

"We've had it in every village and every county, from every council - 'not in our back yards'.

"We are here, we are not going to go and we need homes."

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