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Screveton villagers fight tooth and nail to stop Traveller site expansion



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Villagers are fighting to prevent a Traveller site being extended, in breach of its planning permission.

They claim a host of crimes and anti-social behaviour is connected to the site, which was originally settled in 2018 without permission.

A catalogue of alleged crimes and anti-social behaviour has since been collated by police and villagers.

Traveller site at Screveton.
Traveller site at Screveton.

It includes the rotting corpses of six dead puppies in a boundary hedge and carcasses of hares that appeared to have been savaged by dogs.

Spring View, Screveton, was legalised in late 2018 by an independent planning inspector after permission was refused by Rushcliffe Borough Council.

Conditions were applied to the inspector’s decision to help ensure community cohesion while inhibiting the site’s ability to grow or become transient. It included a condition that the six named applicants remained living there.

If the conditions were not adhered to, the inspector said the site would be forfeited and returned to its pre-developed state.

The village’s parish meeting claims as many as five of the original families no longer live on the site, which they say Rushcliffe has evidenced.

A new planning application was submitted asking for the conditions to be varied, which was turned down by the council, which started enforcement action. ­The Travellers are appealing the rejection.

A parish councillor said: “Tensions have been created in the village. It seems it is more of a transient site now so those that live there are less bothered about getting on with others that live here.

“I suspect that had the original people still lived there then we wouldn’t have a problem.

“We will now fight tooth and nail for a second time for our village and hope the outcome is different this time as all conditions previously applied have been run roughshod over, making them of no consequence. The amount of police hours committed to our little community must be ridiculous.”

Incidents of crime and amti-social behaviour submitted as part of the appeal submission also includes reports of loud music, fly-tipping, trespass, hare-coursing, burglary, criminal damage, arson, vandalising of hedgerow, and quad and trail bikes ridden anti-socially.

Ponies have been reported tethered at a memorial to 11 airmen from two planes that collided mid-air during the war.

In a circular to residents outlining its appeal submissions, parish councillors say the permission was personalised to the original six applicants and their circumstances. It also says the site has grown illegally as plots have sub-divided.

“To be clear, we are not claiming that all the incidents recorded are directly attributed to the occupants of the site, but rather that their presence has attracted increased levels of criminality and anti-social behaviour,” the circular said.

“Further development of the site and increased occupancy would invariably have an effect, potentially adverse, on current highway issues, anti-social and criminal behaviour, and other local services.

“For the more senior/long-term residents of the village, police deployment is at an unprecedented level.

“In granting the original permission, the inspector has positively applied Article 8, recognising the vulnerable position of Gypsies as a minority, in providing the appellants with a home which enables their traditional Gypsy way of life to be facilitated. This principle has been established. The issue for the village community is that a balance must be struck between the State fulfilling its positive obligation to facilitate the Gypsy way of life and the community’s own rights to environmental protection.”

A spokesman for Rushcliffe Borough Council said: “The council takes planning enforcement seriously and having investigated breaches of planning control has served enforcement notices on the site. This action is the subject of an appeal and the council is therefore not in a position to comment as to do so may prejudice the outcome of that appeal.

“We have discussed the subject of crime and anti-social activity in the area with both police and in meetings with local representatives. Details of investigated alleged crimes which have been corroborated by police are included within our submitted appeal statement and that statement is publicly available on our website as part of the appeal process. The parish council has also provided additional details of more anecdotal incidents of alleged crime and anti-social behaviour within their third-party statement submitted to the planning inspectorate.”

The Advertiser has tried to contact with representatives of the Travellers.



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