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Meriden gypsies lose latest planning application battle

Time is running out for gypsies camped in the Meriden greenbelt with a last-ditch planning application, seeking permission for two pitches, thrown out by councillors last week

David McGrath chairman of Meriden RAID
David McGrath chairman of Meriden RAID

Time is running out for gypsies camped in the Meriden greenbelt with a last-ditch planning application, seeking permission for two pitches, thrown out by councillors last week.

The travellers, who have until the end of the month to leave land in Eaves Green Lane, had sought permission to build on the site of an old agricultural yard. The plot is a stones throw from their existing camp, set up illegally almost three years ago.

A previous application for seven pitches, on the same site, was denied by Solihull Council's planning committee last November.

While the second scheme was smaller, it was still rejected unanimously by councillors, who argued that flooding and a history of accidents in the rural road made the plans entirely untenable.

Councillor Jim Ryan (Con, Bickenhill) said: "If the applicant was looking for the worst possible site to put caravan pitches, he found it!"

It was a last throw of the dice for the travellers to win planning approval; the courts have ordered them to leave the land before March 31.

David McGrath, from the action-group RAID, who have opposed development of the site since the beginning, said last Wednesdays decision was the end of the line for the gypsies attempts to get planning permission.

"Our main focus now is enforcement and making sure that if the gypsies don't go at the end of the month, that the council take the appropriate action."

 

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