Travellers lose out once more in land battle

A three-year battle to remove travellers in Glinton looks set to rumble on after a planning application was turned down.

Saturday, 15th October 2016, 1:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 5:11 pm
Small traveller site at Mile Drove near Nine Bridges near Northborough EMN-160608-213714009

Peterborough City Council will now continue to try and evict Patrick O’Connor and his family from land near Nine Bridges in Mile Drove where they live illegally.

The council has been trying to remove the family since October 2013, when it served an enforcement notice on them, telling them to leave.

Mr O’Connor appealed the notice to the Planning Inspectorate who sided with the council and gave him until October 15, 2015 to leave the site.

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But with no action taken before the deadline, the council prosecuted Mr O’Connor who pleaded guilty at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court and was fined £1,500, ordered to pay costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £120.

It was then that he submitted his planning application which was turned down because the site is in an area at a high risk of flooding, there is a lack of provision for mains water, sewerage and electricity, and because the development detracts from nearby landscapes.

Council leader and member for Glinton, Councillor John Holdich, said he was delighted the application for the land to be turned into a traveller’s site had been refused.

He added: “Now, I would like to see the council enforce the previous decision of the planning inspector and have them removed.

“The public are fed up with it. We need to enforce what we are supposed to be enforcing.”

A council spokesman said the planning decision could now be appealed.

He added: “The land continues to be occupied in breach of an enforcement notice and we are taking legal advice to determine the best course of action to secure compliance with the terms of the notice.”