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Solihull ‘a soft touch for travellers’ - Ryan

Solihull has become a ‘soft touch’ as travellers continue to set up in the borough says a leading councillor.

Solihull has become a ‘soft touch’ as travellers continue to set up in the borough says a leading councillor.

Currently there are 13 unauthorised or temporary pitches in Solihull and Coun Jim Ryan (Con Bickenhill) believes it’s time something is done.

“I believe it will grow because we are becoming a soft touch,” he told Solihull’s planning sub committee.

“More and more people will come here because we still lack bottle to pursue it. People are putting two fingers up at the committee.”

Temporary consent has been granted at three sites - Windmill Lane in Balsall Common, Salter Street in Earlswood and Damson Lane. A further five remain unauthorised in Damson Lane, as do two in Salter Street and three on Shadowbrook Lane.

The Government issued new guidance in 2006 allowing authorities to grant temporary planning permission with the expectation that new sites may become available in the future.

Solihull will need to find 26 additional pitches but so far no policy has been set up.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Ian Hedley (Shirley East) said: “Something needs to be done quickly. It’s wrong for the planning sub committee to decide on this, it should be the council as a whole. We need to get our act together and provide a site with the relevant number of pitches.”

 

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