Travellers have refused to move from the green belt in Huddersfield where they have set up an unauthorised site ... and are now taking the issue to a formal appeal.
The site on moorland off New Hey Road in Scammonden was set up at the start of this year and only then did they seek planning permission which was refused.
They then ignored deadlines to quit the site which they own.
Now it has now been revealed they have lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate and a hearing will be held at Huddersfield Town Hall next month to decide if they should stay or go.
Bulldozers can be seen at work on land next to the site but it is not clear just what work is going on there.
A Kirklees Council spokesperson said: “The council is aware of the encampment and associated works. The council has previously refused planning permission for the caravans and have issued enforcement notices requiring the caravans to be removed and the site restored to its original condition. As a result of the owners appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, a hearing at Huddersfield Town Hall is due to be held by the inspector on October 10.”
The appeal is in the name of Thomas Ward and he accepts the 72sq metre site is within the green belt.
Under the planning application that was turned down the site would be a development of pitches for four families of travellers. Each would have two caravans – one mobile and the other touring – and there would be another static caravan too, making nine in total. Cars would also be parked on the site.
The retrospective application was submitted to Kirklees Council by Warwickshire-based development consultant Philip Brown, who said previously: “They felt they had to get on with it. In their view they did not have any choice.
“When you are in a position of having appropriate accommodation you have that choice but if that’s not the case then you act in the best way you can for your family and they felt they had to move so it was a case of doing things as quickly as possible.
“They have moved from housing which was causing them a lot of problems. This housing is not what they are used to and it does have an effect on travellers’ mental health. I know this is difficult for people who live in houses to understand but travellers do have an aversion to living in bricks and mortar.”
When Kirklees rejected the application it stated: “The applicant has failed to demonstrate very special circumstances exist to clearly outweigh the harm to the green belt, the openness of the green belt and visual amenity from the formation of the bund and hard standing and the change of use to a caravan site for four gypsy households. The proposal is considered to be in an unsustainable location due to remote access to public transport local amenities and services.”