Council mAde to look ‘foolish’ by trAvellers
Three-year battle to stop landowner living illegally on site goes on
A three-year battle to remove travellers looks set to continue despite the city council leader admitting the authority is being made to look “foolish.” The owner of land near Nine Bridges in Mile Drove, Glinton is continuingtoliveillegallyon thesite- evenafterbeingfined £1,500 in court.
Patrick O’Connor was first served anenforcementnotice on October 2, 2013 telling him and his family to leave as the land was permitted for agricultural use only, in part due to the high risk of flooding.
Mr O’Connor appealed the notice to the Planning Inspectorate whosidedwiththe council andgavehimuntilOctober 15, 2015 to leave the site.
But with no action taken before the deadline, the council prosecuted Mr O’Connor who pleaded guilty at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court andwasfined£1,500, ordered to pay costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £120.
He has now put in a planningapplication to changethe use of the land to residential which is being considered by the council’s planning department.
Council leader Councillor John Holdich, ward councillor for Glinton, said he will contact the Government once the situation has been cleared up to highlight problems with the law. He added: “To say my constituents and I are totally frustrated is probably an understatement. The council is still going to pursue this despite the planning application.
“We do not want to make the mistakes of Dale Farm in Essex where it took 10 years to get them off. We could turn them off tomorrow but they could come back. We need to know the law is on our side.
“I havetoremainconfident wecangetridofthemasthatis what my constituents want to see. Nottohavethemoffatthe earliest opportunity is making the city council andparish council look foolish.”
A council spokeswoman said: “The land continues to be occupied in breach of the notice and the council is currently seeking legal advice to secure compliance with the terms of the notice.”
The site in dispute