TEN years after a family of travellers set-up home on green belt land, Solihull Council has given them permission to stay permanently.
Last Thursday, councillors on the borough’s planning committee made a majority-decision to allow the camp, in Old Damson Lane, to remain.
The group of Irish travellers moved onto the land in 2001 and over the years the council had failed in attempts to move them on.
Almost a decade later, the local authority has hammered out a deal with the families and agreed to a change in the use of the land.
Some councillors were unhappy about the decision because the borough has still not formally decided its policy on travellers’ sites.
This will be set-down in the council’s core strategy, which is likely to be debated later this year.
But other members of the committee were in favour of the plans, arguing that the need for more travellers’ sites outweighed the risk to green belt land.
Solihull Council wants to create 17 permanent pitches in the borough by next year.