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Appeal wait begins

MERIDEN residents are waiting with bated breath to see if gypsies will appeal over plans to build a camp site on green-belt land.

MERIDEN residents are waiting with bated breath to see if gypsies will appeal over plans to build a camp site on green-belt land.

Last Wednesday, the planning committee threw out proposals to create a ten-pitch site in Eaves Green Lane.

The group now has 28 days to appeal against the decision and if they do, the application will go to a government inspector.

A public inquiry would follow, probably at the end of the year, with Solihull Council having to argue why it rejected the proposals.

Villagers have said that they are ready for a long haul - their 24 hour vigil is now in its third month and could continue until Christmas.

But David McGrath, chairman of Residents Against Inappropriate Development (RAID), said that better provision was needed for gypsies.

“What we don’t want to do is win the battle in Meriden and push the problem onto our neighbours in Balsall Common, Beausdale or elsewhere.

“There does need to be proper sites created, but they must be in suitable locations.”

Solihull Council estimates that 26 new pitches need to be created by 2017 - they aim to get 17 in place by 2012.

As reported in the Solihull News last month, RAID will also be taking their battle to Strasbourg in the autumn.

Solihull-based MEP Nikki Sinclaire has said that the law needs to be looked at, to prevent a repeat of the Meriden situation.

“There should not be one rule for them and another for everyone else,” she said. “What about the Human Rights of the community as a whole?”

 

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