Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Land contamination stops plans for Barnsley Gypsy and traveller site

Land pollution has put a stop to plans for a Gypsy and traveller site in South Yorkshire.

Barnsley Council was considering land on a former colliery and chemical works at Sandygate Lane in Stairfoot.

The council said investigations had revealed the land would need significant decontamination, making it too expensive.

No one from the Gypsy and traveller community wanted to speak about the issue.

Funding for a new site in Barnsley from the Homes and Communities Agency remained secure, the council said.

High demand

Council leader Steve Houghton said demand for a new site was high.

In 2011, planning for a site at Pogmore on the other side of the town was turned down after a high level of objections from the public.

Mr Houghton said he wanted to "allay people's fears" over the issue of Gypsy and traveller sites.

"We're talking about managed sites like the one at Smithies which has never been a problem for us," he said.

"There are private sites at Royston and Brierley and the site at Smithies is being expanded.

"But we do know demand is growing and over the next few years we're going to have to meet that demand.

"Gypsy and traveller families have a desire to access local public services for schools, children and other things, and we can't escape those responsibilities.

"But we have to make sure we do it in an appropriate way and get the right balance."

The council said Stairfoot was not the only site under consideration and it would continue the search for an appropriate location.

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