Councillors urged to refuse traveller site (Leicester Mercury 30/4/09)

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Councillors urged to refuse traveller site (Leicester Mercury 30/4/09)

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:24 am

Councillors are being recommended to refuse permission for an unauthorised traveller site.

Dozens of travellers moved onto the site over Easter, and laid around 100 lorry-loads of hard core. They moved 15 caravans onto the land, near the authorised Costalot site, between Bagworth and Barlestone.

A planning application was submitted to Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council by traveller Robert Hodgetts Senior and others, to change the use of the land, which they own. It has permission for horses, and they want to add a residential caravan site for 10 families. Each of the 10 pitches would have two caravans and an amenity block.

A separate application, by Paul Finney, asks for three-year temporary permission to keep an existing four-caravan site at Heath Road, Bagworth. An earlier temporary permission ran out in 2007. Planning officers recommend that when the planning committee meets on Tuesday, it refuse both bids on the grounds they would spoil the countryside and increase traffic on remote, unlit roads.

A council spokesman said if the applications were refused enforcement action would follow, and the travellers would probably have 28 days to comply.
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It comes after the council was told it must allocate extra land for travellers in coming years. Thousands of letters of objection have been received about potential sites, including potential locations in Thornton and Groby. Barlestone ward member and council rural affairs spokesman Bill Crooks feared the camp that appeared at Easter could lead to further unauthorised developments.

A Leicester Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Group spokesman said the council had not provided enough sites, so the only option was to create their own and apply for retrospective permission

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