THE High Court is set to rule next month on an injunction aimed at preventing further work taking place on land at Mobberley earmarked for gypsy pitches.

Michael Maloney’s bid to win approval to change the use of land off Broad Oak Lane to station caravans for residential purposes for three gypsy pitches has sparked a huge number of objections from residents.

Almost 450 people have written to Cheshire East Council opposing the planning application because of its impact on the Green Belt, and expressing concern over increased traffic and that work had taken place on site before it had received planning permission.

The application also proposes hardstanding and a pedestrian access, and in response to unauthorised works on the site Cheshire East Council sought a court injunction to prevent further development.

The interim injunction was obtained three days after the council registered the application, and comments on the scheme, 20/3462M, can be submitted on the Cheshire East planning portal, until September 16.

A report with the application said Mr Maloney was a member of the Irish travelling community and had an immediate requirement for residential accommodation.

A spokesman from Cheshire East Council said: “The efficient action by planning enforcement at Cheshire East Council has secured a two-day trial in the High Court, to be heard in approximately six weeks’ time, when it is anticipated that a decision on the injunction will be considered and adjudicated upon.

“As this matter is before the court it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time. There remains a pending live planning application, which must be determined on its merits and separate from any court action.”

Cheshire East ward councillor Charlotte Leach said: “I am continuing to work hard to ensure this issue is resolved as soon as possible.

“The next six weeks will be an agonising wait for us all while we await the outcome of the trial, and I understand the frustration of local residents who wish there was a quicker solution.

“While we await the trial I would encourage residents to continue to send me any evidence of further works being carried out on site.”

Tatton MP Esther McVey is urging the Government to look at whether tougher measures are needed to stop travellers abusing planning laws.

Speaking in Parliament, she said: “Can we have a debate on what further measures need to be taken to tackle the blight of travellers destroying the local environment and driving a coach and horses through planning law?

“My local residents in Mobberley are facing that problem at the moment, and would welcome a debate in the House so we can explore what needs to be done, not just in Mobberley or Cheshire but across the country.”

Ms McVey said council bosses had powers to deal with the problem and had to use all enforcement avenues available to them.

She added: “I raised the matter with the Government to make sure we have all the relevant laws in place to stop things like this happening in future, as well as measures that can be enforced now to stop this problem in Mobberley.”

Last week Ms McVey arranged a meeting, and along with Cllr Leach, met residents opposing the plans.

Cheshire East Council senior development officer Paul McDowell said in a report with the application: “The proposal will result in a material intensification in the use of the site by vehicles and the existing field gate access is substandard for this purpose.

“Site access visibility splays should be illustrated on the proposed site plan. A drawing should be submitted illustrating the full extent of the proposed site access visibility splays on an ordnance survey-based plan, at a minimum of 1:500 scale, along with a justification for the dimensions used.

“I would recommend the applicant contacts a transport planning consultant for further advice in this respect and that of designing a suitable access to Broad Oak Lane, which I believe is subject to the national speed limit of 60mph.

“Further detail is required regarding the design and layout of the proposed pedestrian access and the proposed vehicle to pedestrian inter-visibility splays along with a justification for the dimensions used.

“As this is a full planning application a drawing should be submitted illustrating the internal road layout, which should be laid with a sealed surface to reduce the likelihood of mud and debris being deposited on to the adopted public highway. The application should also address refuse collection.”

Tatton Liberal Democrats attended the meeting for villagers about work on the site.

Gareth Wilson, who lives in Mobberley said: “As a local resident I, along with the Tatton Lib Dems, am deeply concerned about the illegal development of greenbelt land in the village, particularly in such an inappropriate position next to the Mid Cheshire train line and directly under the flightpath for Manchester Airport, which is only a mile from the site.

“However we also strongly support the need for appropriate sites to be found across Cheshire East for travelling families, and believe the failure of Cheshire East Council to do so over many years has resulted in what is happening now in Mobberley.”