We don't want traveller camps near our homes, say Leicester residents
People who live near three proposed traveller sites in Leicester are opposed to the plans.
Three areas have been earmarked – Greengate Lane, Beaumont Way and Red Hill Way, all in the north of the city.
The majority of people living in the area who spoke to the Mercury said they would object to the Leicester City Council plans.
A 61-year-old woman, who lives near the Greengate Lane site, said: "It is a nice area and I think it will bring its reputation down.
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"I don't know what the solution is, but I think this is not the right area."
Paul Newton, 46, of Thurcaston Park, said: "I don't quite see why they are all in one area, to be honest.
"You might think it would make more sense for them to be spread about."
A 22-year-old man, who lives a few hundred metres from the Beaumont Way site, said: "I think they should put them out in the countryside, where they will have loads of room and not bother anyone.
"I think that would be better for them and us."
A 71-year-old man, who lives near Greengate Lane, said he thought the area was being "unfairly targeted" and that the sites should be located more widely across the city.
However, Geoffrey Storey, 65, who lives near the Red Hill Way site, said: "I'm not against them. Everyone needs somewhere to live after all.
"I think a few give the rest a bad name."
Steven Franklin, 37, who lives near the Beaumont Way site, said: "I don't mind them, to be honest.
"If they want to live close to us they must like us and if they are nice to me I will be nice to them. I don't mind if they live near me."
Announcing the plans on Thursday, city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said more authorised sites were needed because "constantly moving travellers on from unauthorised camps doesn't solve the problem – it just moves it to a different part of the city".
Beaumont Leys ward councillor Paul Westley said yesterday that sites were the only solution to the problems caused by illegal traveller camps.
He said: "They are human beings, like the rest of us. Everyone needs somewhere to live."
The city has one authorised site, in Meynells Gorse, Braunstone, which is full.
Coun Westley said: "The current site is well-kept and self-policed, so I don't see why the new sites will be any different."
The land on which the sites – catering for about 26 families – would be built is owned by the city council.
More than £1.5 million of Government cash would be used to set up the sites, if they are approved.
The travellers would mostly be temporary tenants and would pay rent, council tax and charges for gas, electricity and water.
Members of the public have six weeks to express their views to the city council.
To take part in the consultation, visit: