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Residents object to plans for traveller pitches near Battle of Towton site
RESIDENTS close to a historical battle site have objected to a planning application which allows permanent traveller pitches on the land.
The land, at Main Street, near Tadcaster, lies alongside the Battlefield of Towton site and currently houses two caravans, which are home to a family from the travelling community.
Permission was given for this site in 2009, on the condition that the site be temporary, until January 2014.
But a recent application has been submitted to Selby District Council for the condition to be lifted, to allow the occupants a stable base for their family to live on.
The application states: “The family have three children living with them and need a settled base in order to reduce the need for travelling and where they can obtain access to health care and schooling for their children.”
The application also acknowledges that the site is on green belt land, but states “planning permission can be granted where the applicant can demonstrate very special circumstances”.
The application also mentions the Secretary of State’s criticism of Selby District Council’s provision for gipsy and traveller sites and claims “alternative sites are not likely to be identified in a development plan by January 2013, and will not be available on the ground by January 2014”.
However, the application has led to objections from some residents, including chairman of the Towton Battlefield Society, Mark Taylor.
Mr Taylor said: “This land is on a known battlefield route line and only a short distance from the mass graves found in 1996 and other significant discoveries made in recent years and a full archaeological survey has not been completed.
“Enough is enough. We have spent all year celebrating our great heritage with a Jubilee and Olympics and then we begin to destroy our battlefields, the very heart of our collective heritage.”
A decision on the application is expected by December 13.