Councillors angry at chaotic approach to unauthorised travellers site

LITTLE Thurrock Councillor’s Rob Gledhill and Tom Kelly have expressed their anger at the lack of co ordination between utility companies and Council planning rules.

Cllr Gledhill said “A few weeks ago Thurrock Council managed to get a stop notice served on travellers who have pitched up on green belt in a matter of hours. However, a week or so afterwards, they dug a huge trench across a section of Malvern Road to have water and utilities connected to the site. This effectively cut off access to residents homes putting them at risk. When residents, Tom and I challenged this, we were told that the utility suppliers can pretty much do as they want. This makes a mockery of the enforcement powers of the Council, pretty much enables anyone to comfortably occupy unauthorised sites without permission and alienates the local residents.”

An application for five mobile homes, five touring caravans and associated day rooms has been submitted for the narrow stretch of green belt between Malvern Road and the Dock Road Approach. Since arriving on the site residents have complained that the occupiers have been cutting down trees, clearing shrubs and moving equipment on site to help prepare it for development without permission. Thurrock Council has issued a stop notice prevents further delivery of more mobile homes, building materials or developing the site.

Fellow ward Councillor Tom Kelly added “Residents, Rob and I are angry over the continuing actions of the occupiers if the site. We all share concerns that roads are being dug up, trees are being cut down and that the enforcement powers of the Council appear easy to circumvented. It’s utter madness that the Council can issue a stop notice, preventing works to take place, but the utility companies can help facilitate a nice comfortable stay whilst planning permission hasn’t been granted. Rob and I will now be calling for the rules allowing utility companies to link up supplies to be linked with authorised planning permissions. The current system is clearly disjointed and needs to be changed.”

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