Coun­cil mAde to look ‘fool­ish’ by trAv­ellers

Three-year bat­tle to stop landowner liv­ing il­le­gally on site goes on

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By Joel Lamy joel.lamy@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy

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.”

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