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Protestors fall foul of the law

MERIDEN residents battling against an unauthorised gypsy camp have fallen foul of planning laws themselves.

MERIDEN residents battling against an unauthorised gypsy camp have fallen foul of planning laws themselves.

Villagers could be made to take down their watch-station, which has been classed as an inappropriate development in the green belt.

The makeshift shelter, in Eaves Green Lane, has been used by villagers to keep watch over the adjacent gypsy site.

They’re waiting for the results of an appeal, lodged by travellers, who want to build a caravan site on the field.

Protestors have applied for planning permission to keep their own camp in-situ until a final decision is made.

Thirty-seven letters have been sent asking for it to be retained, with one against the proposal.

David McGrath, chairman of Meriden RAID, said: “There will always be a protest against this awful and illegal development.

“We have the option of appeal and will be using that approach if this situation is not resolved soon.”

But Solihull Council recommends that the caravan and awning, set up in a builder’s yard, be taken down.

“The unauthorised display of various signs and banners is intentionally designed to draw attention,” they said.

“The effect is highly obtrusive and presents an alien feature in this quiet and tranquil country lane.”

The villagers’ protest has lasted over 400 days and they have pledged to continue until the outcome of the gypsy appeal is known.

With the second-half of a public inquiry due to be heard next month, the result is not expected until towards the end of summer.

Solihull’s planning committee was due to make a decision on the residents’ own application on Wednesday (June 15).

 

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