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THE group of gypsies who set up an illegal camp on greenbelt land in Meriden have been given a year to leave the site.

Travellers, led by Noah Burton, agreed to vacate land at Eaves Green Lane by March 31, 2013 and restore it back to its original state a month later.

Travellers, led by Noah Burton, agreed to vacate land at Eaves Green Lane by March 31, 2013 and restore it back to its original state a month later.

Judge Robert Owen, sitting at Birmingham High Court on Tuesday afternoon, called it a “pragmatic and not unreasonable solution.”

The order also states that no-one else will be allowed to move onto the site and further developments are not permitted for the next year.

The “compromise” was welcomed by the gypsies and members of Residents Against Inappropriate Development (RAID) who have been holding a 24 vigil adjacent to the land for almost 700 days.

David McGrath, RAID chairman, said: “The positive that we take from this is that there is a definite end in March and the land will be restored.

“We will continue to monitor the site until it is vacated to guard against any illegal development.”

Senga Townsley, one of the Meriden travellers, said the decision was a relief and thanked the council for giving them adequate time to consider where to go next.

“It’s been a stressful and horrible situation. We do believe that Solihull Council are very fair with us and hopefully we can come together as a community and find somewhere else.”

The case had been adjourned from last Thursday (March 22), when over 100 residents had lined the streets outside the High Court.

Members of RAID chanted ‘protect the Meriden Gap’ and waved banners stating ‘Dismiss the Appeal’ outside the courts in Bull Street, Birmingham.

Solihull Council said this week’s agreement would end “a long period of uncertainty”.

 

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