Travellers site plan is ‘bonkers’ says councillor

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A councillor has described plans to build a dedicated traveller and gypsy camp near Birstall Retail Park as “bonkers”.

Coun Andrew Palfreeman (Birstall and Birkenshaw) made the comments about Kirklees Council’s controversial proposal, which forms part of its long-term Local Plan and goes to a public consultation from next week.

Land on Bankwood Way, at the other side of the Junction 27 roundabout from the retail park, has been identified to accommodate a 12 pitch traveller site.

Coun Palfreeman said: “My objection to this is not because it is in the Birstall and Birkenshaw ward. My first objections is that it is placed adjacent to Junction 27, which apart from the centre of Huddersfield generates more in business rates for Kirklees than any other ward. It would have a negative effect on the viability of the site and revenue for Kirklees.

“My other objection is that the site borders Leeds and there is already such a site one mile down the road. It’s bonkers.

“We’re not just being NIMBYs (not in my back yard) about this. To have one so near to the retail park is crazy.”