THE issue of unauthorised development at Buckles Lane has again been the subject of attention.

Quite rightly, the way this has been handled has been quite atrocious on the part of Thurrock Council. It is an issue that goes back years, and one which it appears to me that the council planning department just wish would go away. In the interest of fairness it is time that the council discharged its legal obligations.

I first raised this issue with the council in 2011, when I was advised that the site had been somewhat expanded since temporary planning permission had been granted to the showpeople, and that new accommodation was being openly advertised for rent. I was advised that the council would investigate. Nothing happened.

In May 2014, I raised it again. By now the temporary planning permission had expired and the showpeople wanted to be granted full planning permission.

I was advised that this would be considered as part of the local plan.

Fast forward to 2017 when I asked the question again on behalf of the showpeople, on this occasion I was given assurance that the council would look properly at the occupants of the site and would consider enforcement action.

Ultimately the showpeople have been on the site for many years now and they do deserve to know whether they will be allowed to stay. And those that shouldn’t be there should face enforcement action. Unless the council enforces the law, there is little point having it other than to discriminate against those who do abide by it.

At last it is now doing so.