GYPSIES could be housed legally in Kirklees after a council vote.
Green, Lib Dem and Labour councillors all supported a motion - which was passed on a show of hands - to find a suitable site for travellers in the next year.
And Clr Julie Stewart-Turner, one of those behind the proposal, said: "I'm very happy there's now going to be a serious effort to find a site."
The Green councillor said that constantly moving travellers from illegal encampments was not the answer.
She said: "We had an awful lot of disruption this summer, which caused a lot of stress to travellers and left Kirklees Council with huge legal and clean-up bills.
"I know people don't want any money spent on those who don't pay council tax - but that money is already being spent on evictions."
The Newsome councillor believes Kirklees has no choice but to find a permanent site.
She said: "We have a legal obligation to house these people and a moral obligation to safeguard the health of the children."
But Clr Martyn Bolt, one of the Conservatives who voted against the motion at the latest council meeting, attacked the move.
The Cabinet member for environment matters said: "Travellers have already come to Kirklees and bought land and houses.
"They have integrated where they wanted to and we have welcomed them.
"So to move now in the direction of nanny state, tax-paid provision is a retrograde step," he added.
Clr Bolt also demanded more detailed proposals from the motion's supporters.
He said: "Kirklees residents will be concerned, not only with the location of a permanent site, but with the bill, given that each caravan plot costs taxpayers £30,000 to provide - to say nothing of the annual costs.
"The groups who supported this motion should tell us how they intend to identify a site and which traveller groups they will consult."
In August the Gypsy Council applied for permission for sites at Leeds Road, Deighton, and Bow Street in Springwood. One of those sites, the former Heritage Farm off Leeds Road, could be a favoured option.