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Travellers hit back in row over land
A TRAVELLER family have spoke out insisting they are ‘not like other gypsies’ and pleaded with neighbours to let them live in peace.
Four generations of the family have lived in Malvern Road, Little Thurrock, since May, after they illegally pitching up on the land at the back of the road.
Peter Birch, 32, and Rebecca Birch, 27, live with their eight-year-old son. Also on the site is Mr Birch’s grandparents, mum and dad, uncle, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law and their nine-month old baby.
The family say they have been victimised by the neighbours, when all they want to do is live alongside them.
Rebecca Birch said: “Everything has been blown out of proportion.
“We are a quiet family and a normal family.
“We have lived on a number of sites around the country and have never received treatment like this. Neighbours don’t talk to us and just sneer so it has got the stage where we are scared to talk to anyone else. We want to be a part of this community as much as everyone else but how can we?”
Despite the council unanimously voting against the traveller site in October, which includes five mobile homes, Rebecca said they would not be giving up without a fight.
Neighbours hit back at claims they had victimised the neighbours.
One neighbour said: “If people feel threatened then they aren’t going to want to be sociable. Things are fraught but we aren’t used to police raids in the early morning.”
Another added: “I put some sweets through the letterbox on Halloween this year. Is that an example of victimising someone?”
Little Thurrock councillor Rob Gledhill said the traveller family had not been in contact with him.
He said: “If they had contacted me about their planning application I would have made it clear I would not support it as it is an inappropriate use of the greenbelt.”
Kent police did not charge anyone living on the traveller site after arresting a man on suspicion of vehicle related crime on November 19.
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