Council seeks court order to evict gypsies

Waltham gypsy site EMN-140103-230903001
Waltham gypsy site EMN-140103-230903001
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A nine-month saga over a gypsy camp is set to come to a head shortly in the courts.

Members of the Truswell family withdrew an appeal last summer against Melton Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the Waltham site in April.

An enforcement notice served on the family by the council expired last week but the gypsies were still living there this week, on pasture land off Goadby Road.

Jim Worley, the council’s head of regulatory services, said: “One of my colleagues has been to the site and the family is still living there.

“We are now in the process of making an application to the court for an order which requests vacation of the site.”

A member of the family, Chloe Truswell, made an impassioned plea to the planning committee when they discussed the application for a permanent gypsy caravan site incorporating four pitches on the land. She said the family needed a settled home so she and her brother could care for their parents who suffered from ill health.

But around 200 people objected to the scheme and intense opposition was voiced by villagers and other nearby residents.

They felt the site was unsuitable for residential use and the plans contravened planning policy.

Elaine Holmes, borough council ward member for Waltham, said: “Quite a few local people have got quite upset about the camp still being there but they have never been nasty about it.”

She said attempts had been made to find an alternative location, adding: “That site is so dangerous for traffic because they park on each side of the road and it is not sanitary.”