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Travellers in appeal over illegal site
COUNCIL bosses have said they will not back down after a traveller family in Pickmere appealed to the planning inspectorate over the decision to move them from a plot of land in the village.
The site on Spinks Lane in the village has been used as a temporary site by the Dolan family for the past four years.
The family applied to make it a permanent traveller site in 2009 but lost an appeal a year later and decided to try again this summer.
But at a Cheshire East strategic planning meeting at the beginning of August, it was once again rejected by members on the grounds that the land was in the green belt and that it would damage the surrounding area.
The family has now put in an appeal to the planning inspectorate but the council told the Guardian that this latest action would not stop them from moving the Dolan’s from the land.
Clr Rachel Bailey, Cheshire East Cabinet member in charge of communities and regulatory services, said: “Council is preparing further legal enforcement action against the occupants, who are residing there illegally.
“Despite a second refusal of planning permission, the applicants have recently submitted a new appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. This latest appeal will not delay or alter the council from taking steps to clear this site of unlawful settlement.
“The occupied site presents a highways risk and is well within the green belt. The families concerned have been given reasonable notice to move off this land voluntarily.
“We are keen to work alongside these families and fulfil our obligation to secure approved settlement sites – and we would urge the traveller community to work with us to find suitable locations.
“But until such time, the council will simply not stand by and allow an illegal gipsy and caravan site to remain on Spinks Lane, in Pickmere.”