Villagers outraged by travellers' camp-site (Leicester mercury 21/4/09)

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Villagers outraged by travellers' camp-site (Leicester mercury 21/4/09)

Post by Admin on Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:18 am

Two weeks ago, this was just a field – today, it is home to more than a dozen caravans and mobile homes.

An aerial photograph of the site between Bagworth and Barlestone taken yesterday shows the size of the unauthorised camp built in a few days over Easter.

Tipper trucks and diggers moved on to the site on Thursday, April 9, carrying hundreds of tonnes of hardcore.

So far, at least 10 separate areas for families have been built on the 11-acre site, which is owned by travellers.

On Sunday, April 12, the first caravan arrived to set up home and there are now 15 caravans and mobile homes.
Click here!

The development has outraged villagers who watched as 100 lorry loads of building materials was driven past their homes to create the unauthorised camp over the Easter holiday.

The travellers said there was such opposition to their lifestyles that they have to lay their own pitches and apply for planning permission retrospectively. An application has now been submitted and is due to be determined by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council on May 5.

A temporary stop noticed issued by the authority telling the travellers to stop working as there was no planning permission has been ignored.

Police said they could not act because there was no trespass or unlawful behaviour.

Borough councillor Bill Crooks said he felt there were already enough travellers in the Bagworth, Nailstone and Barlestone area with the Costalot site and others.

He said: "We are doing our bit for gypsy provision in the area, but other councils, like Melton, Rutland and Charnwood, haven't got any."

The site has been monitored by police, and an investigation agency employed to gather evidence of any breach of planning laws.

Council officers are now reviewing the evidence and the detail of the planning application, and are considering the appropriate action.

A council spokesman said: "In the meantime, council officers are working closely with police to ensure tensions between the travellers and residents do not escalate.

"Residents should be assured the council takes the unauthorised development very seriously and will be taking whatever action it can to stop it and restore the field to its previous condition."

A spokesman for Leicestershire Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Group said travellers had no choice but to buy their land, lay a site and then apply for planning permission.

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