New traveller row after landowner clashes with council

New traveller row after landowner clashes with council

New traveller row after landowner clashes with council

First published in News by

AN angry landowner has threatened to sell his land to travellers after a row with planning chiefs.

Residents living near the ten-acre site in Southend Road, Fobbing, which borders the Five Bells roundabout in Vange, fear the site could become the next Dale Farm if 79-year-old Denis O’Callaghan is forced to put the land on the market.

Developer, Mr O’Callaghan, has owned the land - which just falls within the Thurrock Council boundary - for the last eight years.

He recently applied to the council to demolish a derelict house which burnt down some years ago and build a bungalow on the site.

But the council said it would only grant planning permission for the bungalow if he bulldozed a different building on the site, which is used for storage and is in good working order.

After receiving advice from architects and surveyors, Mr O’Callaghan submitted an application to the council to keep the storage building - which could be rented out to businesses - knock down the burnt down remains, and build a replacement home next to it.

The council refused his application on the grounds that it would be an “intrusion on the green belt”.

To make matters worse, planning officers also said the footprint, or area the new home would take up is too big, even though the measurements they quoted in their refusal are wrong.

Mr O’Callaghan said: “I’ve been dealing with planning applications of my own for 50-years and I’ve never heard of anything so stupid in my life.

“All I want to do is pull down a building that is burnt out, derelict and dangerous and replace it with a smaller bungalow on the patch of land right next door to it.

“Why do they want me to pull down a building that is already there and has nothing wrong with it and can be used by a business, instead of pulling down a burnt out shell. Shouldn’t the council be promoting something that could support a business?”

Mr O’Callaghan said he refused to shell out even more cash to appeal the council’s decision and unless officers explained the discrepancy in measurements , he would sell the land to the highest bidders after receiving offers from travellers.

He added: “I don’t want to sell my land to travellers, I don’t want to do that to the residents.

“Not one single resident has objected to my proposals. The council are just idiots, but I’m a businessman and I have a great big piece of land that I can’t do anything with.”

Mr O’Callaghan, who has put up for sale signs outside the farm, said he had already been inundated with offers from travellers to buy the land.

Comments (15)

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9:05am Fri 15 Nov 13

Bernard 87 says...

I don't quite understand how the planning committee and the council officers say that by building a new dwelling to replace the one that is in a ruinous state will somehow spoil the green belt when they have passed major plans for large housing estates all over the green belt in Thurrock.

At this moment we are waiting for the same group of people to dump 500 houses on a large chunk of green belt on the Aveley/Purfleet border. Houses are planned for East Tilbury on the green belt, the Technical College site at Woodview now has housing going up on it which is urban fringe green belt, North Stifford is seeing 14 more houses and Corringham residents are fighting planns for 800 homes on the green belt.

They all have double standards and are blinded by monetary contributions rather than applying common sense to each case.

This is the sort of application that should be allowed. The owner wants to replace an eyesore with a building which would hopefully improve the site. I agree that a huge mansion would cause a loss of open space but the council officers should be working with him to design something suitable without knocking down perfectly good buildings in the process.

However, I do not agree with blackmailing the council.
I don't quite understand how the planning committee and the council officers say that by building a new dwelling to replace the one that is in a ruinous state will somehow spoil the green belt when they have passed major plans for large housing estates all over the green belt in Thurrock. At this moment we are waiting for the same group of people to dump 500 houses on a large chunk of green belt on the Aveley/Purfleet border. Houses are planned for East Tilbury on the green belt, the Technical College site at Woodview now has housing going up on it which is urban fringe green belt, North Stifford is seeing 14 more houses and Corringham residents are fighting planns for 800 homes on the green belt. They all have double standards and are blinded by monetary contributions rather than applying common sense to each case. This is the sort of application that should be allowed. The owner wants to replace an eyesore with a building which would hopefully improve the site. I agree that a huge mansion would cause a loss of open space but the council officers should be working with him to design something suitable without knocking down perfectly good buildings in the process. However, I do not agree with blackmailing the council. Bernard 87
  • Score: 8

10:20am Fri 15 Nov 13

I-say-you-say says...

Awww....is someone throwing their toys out of their pram?!

Just deal with it! Seriously! Why not try working with the council, talk to them, see what would be allowed and get on with it that way...it's called COMPROMISE!!

You've had the land 8 years and not bothered doing anything with it until recently...hmm....co
uld this be because of the offers from travellers that you've decided it would be good leverage to get what YOU want irrespective of anything else?!

Blackmail is illegal and the fact that it has been reported in the local news will be brilliant evidence of this!
Awww....is someone throwing their toys out of their pram?! Just deal with it! Seriously! Why not try working with the council, talk to them, see what would be allowed and get on with it that way...it's called COMPROMISE!! You've had the land 8 years and not bothered doing anything with it until recently...hmm....co uld this be because of the offers from travellers that you've decided it would be good leverage to get what YOU want irrespective of anything else?! Blackmail is illegal and the fact that it has been reported in the local news will be brilliant evidence of this! I-say-you-say
  • Score: 0

10:30am Fri 15 Nov 13

gonetothedogs says...

Who can blame him for offering his land to travellers when all he wishes to do is build a home where there is a derelict building that is of no use to man nor beast!
The Council have once again let let another human being down who has the knowledge to rebuild a habitable property,has had dealings with the Council on many an occasion and yet he gets a knock back ,for what?
As a resident in East Tilbury,the Council Planning officers need to be sacked and if this is blackmail to allow travellers to purchase the land, then so be it.
Too many times the Planning Dept have scuppered many plans and it's time to let the people speak out against these "Pillars of Society" or should I say PILLOCKS of society who dictate pathetic rulings just because they can.
Sack the lot of them and get real people on the committee I say!
Who can blame him for offering his land to travellers when all he wishes to do is build a home where there is a derelict building that is of no use to man nor beast! The Council have once again let let another human being down who has the knowledge to rebuild a habitable property,has had dealings with the Council on many an occasion and yet he gets a knock back ,for what? As a resident in East Tilbury,the Council Planning officers need to be sacked and if this is blackmail to allow travellers to purchase the land, then so be it. Too many times the Planning Dept have scuppered many plans and it's time to let the people speak out against these "Pillars of Society" or should I say PILLOCKS of society who dictate pathetic rulings just because they can. Sack the lot of them and get real people on the committee I say! gonetothedogs
  • Score: 4

10:46am Fri 15 Nov 13

btahhhh says...

Go for it Mr.O'Callaghan, it's a pity residents of Thurrock don't seem to be aware or care about Thurrock Council's general incompetence. If the council continue to refuse your more than reasonable requests....sell to the highest bidder, if that happens to be the Travellers, so be it!
Go for it Mr.O'Callaghan, it's a pity residents of Thurrock don't seem to be aware or care about Thurrock Council's general incompetence. If the council continue to refuse your more than reasonable requests....sell to the highest bidder, if that happens to be the Travellers, so be it! btahhhh
  • Score: 1

12:52pm Fri 15 Nov 13

DannyButcher says...

Last I checked, blackmail was a criminal offence.....
Last I checked, blackmail was a criminal offence..... DannyButcher
  • Score: -1

1:07pm Fri 15 Nov 13

sidimmu says...

I make him right.
If they wont give him permission to build a small place for him self and get rid of a burnt out house, then by all means he should sell it to travellers who will destroy the land without seeking any permission.

Its the councils move to allow him to build a small place or be forced to enjoy more and more travellers ruining the town and land.

Fair play to him, i'd do the same just to **** on the council.
I make him right. If they wont give him permission to build a small place for him self and get rid of a burnt out house, then by all means he should sell it to travellers who will destroy the land without seeking any permission. Its the councils move to allow him to build a small place or be forced to enjoy more and more travellers ruining the town and land. Fair play to him, i'd do the same just to **** on the council. sidimmu
  • Score: 1

10:56pm Fri 15 Nov 13

The Hog says...

so you can't do anything on your own land..I think Mr O’Callaghan has done all thats been asked of him and the land has a derelict house on it that is no good to anybody... Mr O’Callaghan should look a touch deeper in to this, I smell a rat a thurrock council rat.
so you can't do anything on your own land..I think Mr O’Callaghan has done all thats been asked of him and the land has a derelict house on it that is no good to anybody... Mr O’Callaghan should look a touch deeper in to this, I smell a rat a thurrock council rat. The Hog
  • Score: 3

11:50pm Fri 15 Nov 13

Fair Dinkum says...

What is with these allegations of blackmail? The man has merely pointed out his alternative options for this piece of land. If the council cant see that his preferred option is by far the better option then they need sacking. That the council can tell him to demolish his useable buildings and build elsewhere on HIS land or they will not grant a permit can also be seen as blackmail on behalf of the council. Obviously he has not greased enough palms to get his permission passed. Even if he built a mansion on the site, it would be replacing a burnt out house so not much impact on the greenbelt compared to the estates the council has approved elsewhere in the borough. Not pointing the finger but it looks to me like a case of no permit=cheap land sale to a fatcat councillor who will soon get the permit rectifyed and make a killing on land price.....and you say blackmail is illegle!
What is with these allegations of blackmail? The man has merely pointed out his alternative options for this piece of land. If the council cant see that his preferred option is by far the better option then they need sacking. That the council can tell him to demolish his useable buildings and build elsewhere on HIS land or they will not grant a permit can also be seen as blackmail on behalf of the council. Obviously he has not greased enough palms to get his permission passed. Even if he built a mansion on the site, it would be replacing a burnt out house so not much impact on the greenbelt compared to the estates the council has approved elsewhere in the borough. Not pointing the finger but it looks to me like a case of no permit=cheap land sale to a fatcat councillor who will soon get the permit rectifyed and make a killing on land price.....and you say blackmail is illegle! Fair Dinkum
  • Score: 4

10:04am Sat 16 Nov 13

TonyLR2 says...

As usual with this site, the full story appears not to have been reported - why no explanation as to why "build a replacement home next to it (ie the burnt out remains)", rather than on the exact same spot as them? The slightly different location of the new house appears to be the crux of the matter.
As usual with this site, the full story appears not to have been reported - why no explanation as to why "build a replacement home next to it (ie the burnt out remains)", rather than on the exact same spot as them? The slightly different location of the new house appears to be the crux of the matter. TonyLR2
  • Score: 1

10:27am Sat 16 Nov 13

Dave_ says...

I think Bernard has a point, in that had this been a commercial development which on 10 acres they could build a small village, which would have a major impact on the local infrastructure, they'd have just said yes and stuff everyone. You could end up with 30+ houses/homes per acre so if they built flats etc, it's almost any number. Oh yes and we'd get all the guff about "affordable" housing etc etc etc. Lord knows what the footprint being too big means, sounds like something I'd put on roses. Makes you wonder what they make of a proposal to build somewhere like Buck House, Audley End, Longleat, Woburn, Blenheim etc etc, as I would suggest their 'footprint' is too big.
But this is a bloke who wants to build one house as a private dwelling, rather than a housng estate.
Thurrock Council's planning dept/committee need to get their heads out from their backsides and stop thinking about money.
As for the threat to sell to travellers, it's his to sell to who he likes.
I think Bernard has a point, in that had this been a commercial development which on 10 acres they could build a small village, which would have a major impact on the local infrastructure, they'd have just said yes and stuff everyone. You could end up with 30+ houses/homes per acre so if they built flats etc, it's almost any number. Oh yes and we'd get all the guff about "affordable" housing etc etc etc. Lord knows what the footprint being too big means, sounds like something I'd put on roses. Makes you wonder what they make of a proposal to build somewhere like Buck House, Audley End, Longleat, Woburn, Blenheim etc etc, as I would suggest their 'footprint' is too big. But this is a bloke who wants to build one house as a private dwelling, rather than a housng estate. Thurrock Council's planning dept/committee need to get their heads out from their backsides and stop thinking about money. As for the threat to sell to travellers, it's his to sell to who he likes. Dave_
  • Score: 0

11:33pm Sat 16 Nov 13

Ed Woods says...

The full story isn't being told.

Have a read of the documents:-

http://edocs.thurroc
k.gov.uk/AniteIM.Web
Search/Results.aspx
The full story isn't being told. Have a read of the documents:- http://edocs.thurroc k.gov.uk/AniteIM.Web Search/Results.aspx Ed Woods
  • Score: 1

11:40pm Sat 16 Nov 13

Ed Woods says...

Dave_ wrote:
I think Bernard has a point, in that had this been a commercial development which on 10 acres they could build a small village, which would have a major impact on the local infrastructure, they'd have just said yes and stuff everyone. You could end up with 30+ houses/homes per acre so if they built flats etc, it's almost any number. Oh yes and we'd get all the guff about "affordable" housing etc etc etc. Lord knows what the footprint being too big means, sounds like something I'd put on roses. Makes you wonder what they make of a proposal to build somewhere like Buck House, Audley End, Longleat, Woburn, Blenheim etc etc, as I would suggest their 'footprint' is too big.
But this is a bloke who wants to build one house as a private dwelling, rather than a housng estate.
Thurrock Council's planning dept/committee need to get their heads out from their backsides and stop thinking about money.
As for the threat to sell to travellers, it's his to sell to who he likes.
He already has permission to build a house given in 2009 and was given permission for a new site for this house in 2011 but he want to move the location for a third time. All very odd.
[quote][p][bold]Dave_[/bold] wrote: I think Bernard has a point, in that had this been a commercial development which on 10 acres they could build a small village, which would have a major impact on the local infrastructure, they'd have just said yes and stuff everyone. You could end up with 30+ houses/homes per acre so if they built flats etc, it's almost any number. Oh yes and we'd get all the guff about "affordable" housing etc etc etc. Lord knows what the footprint being too big means, sounds like something I'd put on roses. Makes you wonder what they make of a proposal to build somewhere like Buck House, Audley End, Longleat, Woburn, Blenheim etc etc, as I would suggest their 'footprint' is too big. But this is a bloke who wants to build one house as a private dwelling, rather than a housng estate. Thurrock Council's planning dept/committee need to get their heads out from their backsides and stop thinking about money. As for the threat to sell to travellers, it's his to sell to who he likes.[/p][/quote]He already has permission to build a house given in 2009 and was given permission for a new site for this house in 2011 but he want to move the location for a third time. All very odd. Ed Woods
  • Score: 2

9:17am Mon 18 Nov 13

I-say-you-say says...

Fair Dinkum wrote:
What is with these allegations of blackmail? The man has merely pointed out his alternative options for this piece of land. If the council cant see that his preferred option is by far the better option then they need sacking. That the council can tell him to demolish his useable buildings and build elsewhere on HIS land or they will not grant a permit can also be seen as blackmail on behalf of the council. Obviously he has not greased enough palms to get his permission passed. Even if he built a mansion on the site, it would be replacing a burnt out house so not much impact on the greenbelt compared to the estates the council has approved elsewhere in the borough. Not pointing the finger but it looks to me like a case of no permit=cheap land sale to a fatcat councillor who will soon get the permit rectifyed and make a killing on land price.....and you say blackmail is illegle!
Definition of blackmail: Extortion of money or something else of value from a person by the threat of exposing a criminal act or discreditable information.

I.e. Extortion of the planning permission HE wants by the threat of selling to travellers who could potentially carry out an illegal act by building irrespective of planning permission.

Therefore he is blackmailing the Council and this is illegal!

With all due respect, look at Ed Woods' points above....certainly seems odd to me. Also, why has it taken him 8 years to bother to go this far (anything to do with the new nearby traveller encampment?)!
[quote][p][bold]Fair Dinkum[/bold] wrote: What is with these allegations of blackmail? The man has merely pointed out his alternative options for this piece of land. If the council cant see that his preferred option is by far the better option then they need sacking. That the council can tell him to demolish his useable buildings and build elsewhere on HIS land or they will not grant a permit can also be seen as blackmail on behalf of the council. Obviously he has not greased enough palms to get his permission passed. Even if he built a mansion on the site, it would be replacing a burnt out house so not much impact on the greenbelt compared to the estates the council has approved elsewhere in the borough. Not pointing the finger but it looks to me like a case of no permit=cheap land sale to a fatcat councillor who will soon get the permit rectifyed and make a killing on land price.....and you say blackmail is illegle![/p][/quote]Definition of blackmail: Extortion of money or something else of value from a person by the threat of exposing a criminal act or discreditable information. I.e. Extortion of the planning permission HE wants by the threat of selling to travellers who could potentially carry out an illegal act by building irrespective of planning permission. Therefore he is blackmailing the Council and this is illegal! With all due respect, look at Ed Woods' points above....certainly seems odd to me. Also, why has it taken him 8 years to bother to go this far (anything to do with the new nearby traveller encampment?)! I-say-you-say
  • Score: 0

8:01pm Mon 18 Nov 13

Ed Woods says...

The Council gave him permission to build a new property in 2009, they gave him permission to move the location in 2011 - they have refused his latest application - the documents of which can be found on Thurrock Council's website make interesting reading.
The Council gave him permission to build a new property in 2009, they gave him permission to move the location in 2011 - they have refused his latest application - the documents of which can be found on Thurrock Council's website make interesting reading. Ed Woods
  • Score: 0

3:29pm Tue 26 Nov 13

Jb66 says...

As Ed Woods said above, he's had permission in 2009, 2011 but refused the latest re-jig of the plans. To be honest, I think he's going to sell to theTravellers, and all this bluster is so people wont blame him for the Traveller site, he can just say it's the council's fault. Watch this space, he will sell to the Travellers.
As Ed Woods said above, he's had permission in 2009, 2011 but refused the latest re-jig of the plans. To be honest, I think he's going to sell to theTravellers, and all this bluster is so people wont blame him for the Traveller site, he can just say it's the council's fault. Watch this space, he will sell to the Travellers. Jb66
  • Score: 0

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