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Order will mean family must leave
A COURT order has been granted that will mean a gipsy family must leave an unauthorised site in Pickmere.
The land on Spinks Lane in the village has been used as a temporary site by the Dolan family for the past four years.
The family, who own the land, applied to make it a permanent traveller site in 2009, but lost an appeal a year later and decided to try again in the summer of 2012.
But at a Cheshire East strategic planning meeting at the beginning of August 2012, it was again rejected by committee members on the grounds that the land was in the green belt and that it would damage the surrounding area.
The court order, which will allow the site to be restored to grassland, is subject to the outcome of a planning appeal that will be heard by a public inquiry starting on March 25.
Following the inquiry, the planning inspector will write a report to the secretary of state, who will then issue the final decision.
If the council’s decision to refuse the planning application is upheld, the residents must leave the site within three months – in line with the court order.
Clr Michael Jones, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “Firstly, we are aware that this is an emotive issue and one that involves families with children.
“Naturally, we will handle this sensitively, working with those concerned.
“We have worked closely with Pickmere Parish Council in light of current efforts to identify both permanent and temporary sites for gipsies and travellers.
“We are looking for plan-led sites that are sustainable and dispel the perception that there is a free-for-all when it comes to gipsies and travellers setting up sites in Cheshire East.
“This order sends out a clear message that Cheshire East Council will not tolerate people developing land without any concern for planning permission.
“We are blessed with beautiful countryside here in Cheshire East, and our planning procedures seek to protect this, not just for us, but for future generations.”