LITTLE Thurrock Conservative councillors are delighted that their calls for a public inquiry into the unauthorised travellers’ site on the greenbelt in Malvern Road have been answered.
The occupiers of the site, who have remained in the field behind Malvern Road since May, had their planning application rejected on 24th October, when around 70 residents turned out to watch the much anticipated proceedings. The occupiers of the site have lodged an appeal against the rejection and the stop notice, which has been taken to the Planning Inspectorate.
Since their arrival at the site, residents have complained of anti social behaviour in their usually quiet road. The occupiers of the site have cut down trees, dug up private land for utilities, which restricted access to the end of Malvern Road and accused residents of making race hate statement which have been rejected by the Police.
Little Thurrock Rectory Councillor Rob Gledhill explains: “Considering the amount of problems this application has caused, I think it is more than appropriate to call for a public enquiry. This will allow witnesses to have the opportunity to speak and outline how the unauthorised site has and is affecting them.”
He added: “The occupiers of the site are still cutting down trees and continue to disrupt community life in a way that suggests they refuse to accept they are entitled to settle on the site. I hope this public enquiry will give residents an opportunity to see this saga come to an end.”
Little Thurrock Rectory Councillor Tom Kelly said: “Rob and I were elected to serve our residents, and we are looking forward to the hearing. Whilst residents are dissatisfied with some of the Council’s handling of this matter, which has exacerbated the difficulties they have gone through in recent months, they have welcomed the fact the Council have listened to Rob and I’s call for this public inquiry.”