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Council under fire as Meriden gypsies launch further appeal

PROTESTERS have accused Solihull Council leaders of being “naive” after travellers lodged a further appeal to stay in Meriden.

PROTESTERS have accused Solihull Council leaders of being “naive” after travellers lodged a further appeal to stay in Meriden.

In March, the gypsies lost their appeal against Secretary of State Eric Pickles decision last year, refusing retrospective planning permission for their illegal Eaves Green Lane camp.

However, the council agreed that the travellers did not have to vacate the greenbelt site until March 2013 in what David McGrath, of Residents Against Inappropriate Development (RAID) condemned as a “Mickey Mouse agreement”.

“Instead of insisting that the gypsies leave in short order they were given another year to apply for legal aid and think up new spurious appeals,” he added.

Mr McGrath said RAID’s fears had been realised after the gypsies, led by Noah Burton, lodged a further legal-aid funded appeal against the decision.

It’s a bitter blow for residents who were recently ordered to pack up their own protest camp.

“The gypsies put in their appeal late because they were hoping that the protesters would be gone by now,” added Mr McGrath

“They will do exactly the same as Dale Farm - keep stringing everyone along, exploit legal aid and only under threat of eviction will they finally go.”

He added that Director of Places Anne Brereton had been “naive” in allowing the gypsies another year at the site to prepare further appeals.

“Why the council should prefer to entertain the gypsies’ charades and persecute residents who are here to protect the greenbelt is beyond me,” Mr McGrath said.

“Our resolve is stronger than ever now to maintain our protest vigil.”

A Solihull Council spokeswoman refused to comment on the accusations of naivety.

 

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