Updated: New gypsy sites for Leicester are criticised by residents campaigner
Two new sites for gypsies are to be set up in Leicester, City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby announced today.
They will be created at Redhill Way and Greengate Lane near the north east boundary with Charnwood borough.
A third site, at Beaumont Way, has been ruled out as unsuitable.
The city council will also explore the possibility of creating two additional sites at Hoods Close, near Beaumont Leys, and Ratby Lane.
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Sir Peter said: "This has been a very hard decision which was never going to be popular but the council has for years put off tackling the issue of unauthorised encampments across the city, which have numbered more than 115 between January 2009 and September 2012.
"We've looked long and hard at the issues people have raised - for example we've agreed to limit the size of the Greengate Lane site to minimise the impact on nearby residents. We're also not planning to allow these sites to expand beyond the planned number of pitches.
"It is no longer enough for us to do nothing, and the extra pitches offered by these sites should be a step towards us getting on top of the problem of unauthorised encampments."
But the chairman of the LE4 Action Group Roy Rollings said: "This is a bad day for democracy. It ignores the thousands of people who voiced reasonable objections to the sites.
"Both are developing greenfield sites and pose road safety risks. We shall oppose them when they come forward for planning approval."
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