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Osbaldwick Travellers' Site Plans Decided Tonight

Julian Sturdy

7:26am 24th October 2013

Plans to expand the Osbaldwick travellers' site will be decided tonight.

But MP Julian Sturdy says the city council aren't running the site properly and questions if the expansion is needed.

The York Outer MP gave the reasons he's opposed to adding the six extra caravan pitches.


Mike Slater, assistant director of City and Environmental Services, at City of York Council, said:

“Planning legislation dictates that applications of this scale and character are normally determined by the local planning authority, in this case the council, regardless of whether the local planning authority is the applicant i.e. a new school. 

"An exception would be where the Secretary of State has directed that they wish to determine the application, instead of the local planning authority.  Normally only applications for large developments of regional or national significance are called in. 

"At this moment in time the Secretary of State has not called in the Osbaldwick application.  It should be borne in mind that the proposal is of a small scale (six additional caravan pitches with amenity buildings) and of purely local significance.”

Cabinet Member for Planning, Transport and Sustainability, Coun. Dave Merrett said:

“It is absolutely astounding that a Member of Parliament would so cynically support the call for a public inquiry for six extra traveller pitches at the Osbaldwick site. 

“Julian Sturdy and his Government say that Councils should be taking decisions affecting local people locally, and that Councils should be avoiding unnecessary expenditure.  He then supports the call for an expensive public inquiry when he knows there’s next to no likelihood of one happening.  This is because his Government has largely stopped calling in anything other than regionally or nationally significant planning applications. 

“He should respect the independent and local planning process and make any representations he wishes to when this application is considered by a cross-party committee of councillors”.

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