Government to probe controversial traveller site bid

Cllr Rob Gledhill called for the public enquiry

Cllr Rob Gledhill called for the public enquiry

First published in News
Last updated
Thurrock Gazette: Matt Abbott by , Chief Reporter

THE Government is set to probe a controversial planning application which sought to legalise a traveller site in Grays.

The Birch family moved to land at the end of Malvern Road, Grays over Easter last year, causing plenty of tension between travellers and residents.

In October last year, a planning application to make the site permanent and legal was rejected by Thurrock Council's planning committee.

The Birch family have lodged an appeal which is currently being looked into by the planning inspectorate.

Conservative Little Thurrock Rectory councillor Rob Gledhill, who called for the enquiry, said: "Considering the amount of problems this application has caused, I think it is more than appropriate to call for a public enquiry.

"This will allow witnesses to have the opportunity to speak and outline how the unauthorised site has and is affecting them."

He added: "The occupiers of the site are still cutting down trees and continue to disrupt community life in a way that suggests they refuse to accept they are entitled to settle on the site. I hope this public enquiry will give residents an opportunity to see this saga come to an end."

Accusations of hate comments and anti-social behaviour have been banded about by both groups since the family moved to the site.

But police have not charged anyone following investigations into the allegations.

Comments (5)

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6:31pm Mon 13 Jan 14

skinthegoat says...

Public Enquiry? Who pays for that then.....oh let me guess....howzabout telling , nay ORDERING them to f**k off to where they come from....
Job done.
Public Enquiry? Who pays for that then.....oh let me guess....howzabout telling , nay ORDERING them to f**k off to where they come from.... Job done. skinthegoat
  • Score: 15

7:57pm Mon 13 Jan 14

jo ford says...

I, for one am very glad that the residents of malvern road get their say. We are constantly living in fear of what might happen next. The occupants are on the greenbelt land illegally and should have been moved on months ago. Let the Malvern road residents get their quiet lives back again.
I, for one am very glad that the residents of malvern road get their say. We are constantly living in fear of what might happen next. The occupants are on the greenbelt land illegally and should have been moved on months ago. Let the Malvern road residents get their quiet lives back again. jo ford
  • Score: 3

10:02am Tue 14 Jan 14

Bernard 87 says...

Thurrock Council have brought about these problems on their own as they seem to allow all sorts to be built on green belt land throughout the borough. If you position yourself as the dumping ground of Essex you cannot be surprised when groups of travellers choose to set up camp on empty fields in the borough. Perhaps if both Labour and the Tories protected our open spaces in a better manner, told both developers and previous traveller groups to 'jog on' then we would not be in a situation where green belt land is constantly being attacked.
Thurrock Council have brought about these problems on their own as they seem to allow all sorts to be built on green belt land throughout the borough. If you position yourself as the dumping ground of Essex you cannot be surprised when groups of travellers choose to set up camp on empty fields in the borough. Perhaps if both Labour and the Tories protected our open spaces in a better manner, told both developers and previous traveller groups to 'jog on' then we would not be in a situation where green belt land is constantly being attacked. Bernard 87
  • Score: 0

10:27am Tue 14 Jan 14

Marcus P says...

I have an awful feeling this is going to drag on and on!

There is clearly a lack of political will to move this friendship group off greenbelt land.
I have an awful feeling this is going to drag on and on! There is clearly a lack of political will to move this friendship group off greenbelt land. Marcus P
  • Score: -1

11:30am Wed 15 Jan 14

OckendonPaul says...

I have an awful feeling this won't end happily for the residents of Malvern Road now that the government are involved.
Check out the Thames crossing story (amongst many others) to see how little value is given to residents opinion by our masters in Westminster...
I have an awful feeling this won't end happily for the residents of Malvern Road now that the government are involved. Check out the Thames crossing story (amongst many others) to see how little value is given to residents opinion by our masters in Westminster... OckendonPaul
  • Score: -2

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