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Local traveller claims council is making him homeless

A gypsy family who have lived in The Pleck, Hampton-in-Arden for 11 years, say they have been given their marching orders by Solihull Council

Traveller James Dunne, pictured outside his home in Hampton-in-Arden, is pleading with Solihull Council to stay after they authorised an enforcement notice against him
Traveller James Dunne, pictured outside his home in Hampton-in-Arden, is pleading with Solihull Council to stay after they authorised an enforcement notice against him

A LOCAL traveller family have complained they are being made “homeless”, as Solihull Council are issuing an enforcement notice against them.

James Dunne said he felt “totally devastated” at the decision to evict them from their home of 11 years at The Pleck in Shadowbrook Lane, Hampton-in-Arden.

But the local authority have argued the site has been unauthorised since June 2012.

Mr Dunne, a father-of-seven, said: “I feel totally devastated, I only found out myself a few days ago. Everyone is upset about it.

“We’ve been here 11 years. This is their family home. My youngest is just four-years-old. My daughter, who’s 19, is living next door to me. I want my kids to get an education. We just want to be left alone.”

The 43-year-old, who also has four grandchildren, said if forced to leave, the family would be “homeless” as all other local gypsy sites in the area were occupied by other families.

“I have nowhere else to go. We can’t go on other sites, I have signed documents from the other families saying we cannot go there.”

The site was granted temporary planning permission in 2006 on appeal, which was extended by the council until June 2012.

Mr Dunne submitted a retrospective planing application to cover the area, which has two static and one touring caravans plus a brick building.

But this was refused and the enforcement notice, authorised by members of Solihull’s planning department last month, not only requires the site to be vacated within a year but that it’s put back to its original state, which Mr Dunne claims would be impossible.

“I have had thousands of tonnes of stone here. It’s cost me thousands. I wouldn’t be able to afford to remove it all.”

A council spokesperson said: “The council is not making Mr Dunne homeless. Mr Dunne’s application for permanent planning permission was refused by the planning committee on September 18.

“This follows two previous temporary permissions which were in place for over six years and expired in June 2012, the site has been unauthorised since then.

“If Mr Dunne vacates the site, either voluntarily or in eventual compliance with a notice, the normal rights to declare himself homeless and make an application for accommodation would then apply.”

 

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