Travellers hit back in row over land

Thurrock Gazette: Councillor Rod Gledhill says the travellers haven't approached him Councillor Rod Gledhill says the travellers haven't approached him

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.

Comments (8)

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9:13am Sat 14 Dec 13

P Church says...

"An inappropriate use of green belt"
Clearly building 501 homes on a green belt land is a more appropriate use then?!
Double standards!
"An inappropriate use of green belt" Clearly building 501 homes on a green belt land is a more appropriate use then?! Double standards! P Church

3:43pm Sat 14 Dec 13

Marcus P says...

The council should send them packing asap. My fears are that more will arrive on the illegal site and we end up with a Dale Farm, mark II. Their application has been rejected and they should leave. They are not, nor have ever been victims in the story.

Perhaps the residents of Malvern Road should band together and threaten legal action against the council and the travellers, if this situation is not resolved soon.
The council should send them packing asap. My fears are that more will arrive on the illegal site and we end up with a Dale Farm, mark II. Their application has been rejected and they should leave. They are not, nor have ever been victims in the story. Perhaps the residents of Malvern Road should band together and threaten legal action against the council and the travellers, if this situation is not resolved soon. Marcus P

3:45pm Sat 14 Dec 13

Marcus P says...

" 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?”

If they don't like it they can always obey the council ruling and pack up and leave.
" 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?” If they don't like it they can always obey the council ruling and pack up and leave. Marcus P

3:48pm Sat 14 Dec 13

Marcus P says...

P Church wrote:
"An inappropriate use of green belt" Clearly building 501 homes on a green belt land is a more appropriate use then?! Double standards!
A fair point and i oppose development of the green belt. The justification in the case of the 501 houses is that it is creating much needed socila housing.

That can not be said of the Malvern Lane case.
[quote][p][bold]P Church[/bold] wrote: "An inappropriate use of green belt" Clearly building 501 homes on a green belt land is a more appropriate use then?! Double standards![/p][/quote]A fair point and i oppose development of the green belt. The justification in the case of the 501 houses is that it is creating much needed socila housing. That can not be said of the Malvern Lane case. Marcus P

9:50pm Sat 14 Dec 13

I want my street back says...

This article has come about after the travellers contacted the gazette to run a story. In other words a PR stunt in order to planning permission.
Unfortunately for them they are unlikely to gain sympathy from residents of Malvern Road or for a matter of fact Little Thurrock.
The residents of Little Thurrock got a taste of their lack of community spirit when they illegally brought a mobile home onto the site . This caused traffic chaos and stopped residents of Dartview Close leaving their road.
Since then they systematically destroyed trees and wildlife as they bed themselves in sticking two fingers up to the council.
Along with the smell of effluent we now appear to have the beginnings of a rat problem.
A sign has been errected with the word HORSES scrawled on it . I take this to mean they want to run a business from the site - again illegal.
Some residents no longer need an alarm clock for almost every morning in the early hours their noisy truck trundles down our road.
We also had the delights of a dawn police raid.
When their application was heard at the council the place was packed out with objectors .
I could go on - a trench across peoples homes, verbal threats , a nice view of a caravan through your kitchen window etc etc etc.
They say the residents of Malvern Road have blown it all out of proportion. After reading the above I let you decide.
To anybody who has been following this saga. The travellers have now appealed against their refusal of planning and their enforcement order.
This has been a very tough ride for the residents of Malvern Road.
They know all the rules and the council seem totally powerless and inept to be able to stop them.
Lets hope good prevails and the the green belt is allowed to grow back. Unfortunately for the animals found in distress or found dead in a garden it is too late.
This article has come about after the travellers contacted the gazette to run a story. In other words a PR stunt in order to planning permission. Unfortunately for them they are unlikely to gain sympathy from residents of Malvern Road or for a matter of fact Little Thurrock. The residents of Little Thurrock got a taste of their lack of community spirit when they illegally brought a mobile home onto the site . This caused traffic chaos and stopped residents of Dartview Close leaving their road. Since then they systematically destroyed trees and wildlife as they bed themselves in sticking two fingers up to the council. Along with the smell of effluent we now appear to have the beginnings of a rat problem. A sign has been errected with the word HORSES scrawled on it . I take this to mean they want to run a business from the site - again illegal. Some residents no longer need an alarm clock for almost every morning in the early hours their noisy truck trundles down our road. We also had the delights of a dawn police raid. When their application was heard at the council the place was packed out with objectors . I could go on - a trench across peoples homes, verbal threats , a nice view of a caravan through your kitchen window etc etc etc. They say the residents of Malvern Road have blown it all out of proportion. After reading the above I let you decide. To anybody who has been following this saga. The travellers have now appealed against their refusal of planning and their enforcement order. This has been a very tough ride for the residents of Malvern Road. They know all the rules and the council seem totally powerless and inept to be able to stop them. Lets hope good prevails and the the green belt is allowed to grow back. Unfortunately for the animals found in distress or found dead in a garden it is too late. I want my street back

6:41am Sun 15 Dec 13

Dave_ says...

These things have to be nipped in the bud and unfortunately the authorities don't.
You can see what will happen, playing fields of The Rookery will be laid waste. Another "family member" will turn up and another and another. Dogs and as it seems horses will be running loose, effectively making it a no go area.
Why can't these people get it into their heads the residents don't want them there.
They want to settle ... buy or rent a house, I don't imagine for one minute the family is short of a bob or two.
These things have to be nipped in the bud and unfortunately the authorities don't. You can see what will happen, playing fields of The Rookery will be laid waste. Another "family member" will turn up and another and another. Dogs and as it seems horses will be running loose, effectively making it a no go area. Why can't these people get it into their heads the residents don't want them there. They want to settle ... buy or rent a house, I don't imagine for one minute the family is short of a bob or two. Dave_

8:53am Sun 15 Dec 13

jo ford says...

“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. "

Obviously trying hard to get sympathy but ask yourself why they left their previous site. They were forced to leave previous site as they were physically attacked and verbally abused- according to them! So the above statement is untrue. Do the residents of Malvern Road want trouble to follow here? Well it already has due to the police raid. If the residents are that awful to them, why dont they up and leave and go somewhere else. It took them one day to bring down a large mobile home it wouldnt be too hard to leave.
Lets hope justice prevails and the residents of Malvern Road get their lives back.
“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. " Obviously trying hard to get sympathy but ask yourself why they left their previous site. They were forced to leave previous site as they were physically attacked and verbally abused- according to them! So the above statement is untrue. Do the residents of Malvern Road want trouble to follow here? Well it already has due to the police raid. If the residents are that awful to them, why dont they up and leave and go somewhere else. It took them one day to bring down a large mobile home it wouldnt be too hard to leave. Lets hope justice prevails and the residents of Malvern Road get their lives back. jo ford

10:24am Sun 15 Dec 13

chuffster says...

"Not like other gypsies"?

Oh, so they admit there is a problem with gypsies then?! :-)
"Not like other gypsies"? Oh, so they admit there is a problem with gypsies then?! :-) chuffster

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