York & North Yorkshire

Selby MP wants talks on traveller site halted

An MP has called for consultations over the location of a new travellers' site in North Yorkshire to be delayed.

Conservative MP Nigel Adams said Selby District Council should wait until the government has completed its own traveller planning policy.

Selby District Council said it had a legal duty to have somewhere for travellers to stay.

A Gypsy Council spokesman said the proposed new national bill was a "Nimby's charter".

The consultation process has already been extended by a month.

But Mr Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty, believes the process should be halted completely until the government's Traveller Planning Policy - which is due in the next few months - is released.

'Part of society'

The government's plans would give local residents more of a say in where and if a council builds traveller sites.

Joseph Jones, treasurer of the Gypsy Council, said the new bill sounded "like a Nimby's charter".

"Every council, every local authority has an obligation to provide for the gypsy and traveller community because it is a part of society," he said.

Conservative Selby District Council leader Mark Crane said a number of potential areas had been identified and the council had a responsibility to provide a travellers' site.

Mark Crane, Conservative, Selby District Council Leader, said: "I don't think that is the best way ahead for the council, because there are gypsies living within the district who don't have a place to stay.

"We face appeals from the gypsies which we would almost certainly lose unless we have a clear plan and time frame for providing new plots."

But Labour Councillor Stephanie Duckett said: "We don't just want 500 letters saying we don't want it here... we want a good planning reason why this site wouldn't work".

"I think all people are bothered about is not having it near them," she said.

Roderick Parker, a Liberal Democrat candidate in the Selby district in the forthcoming local elections, noted that the council "is not looking for a huge area, and this is only a hypothetical plan after all".

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