THURROCK planning councillors have acted to preserve a piece of the greenbelt which has been taken over by travellers.
At last week’s planning committee meeting, agent Gary Coxall tried to gain planning permission for four pitches with utility blocks and three stables on land adjacent to Willow Cottage on Southend Road, Corringham.
The travellers are already on the site and have carried out a large amount of work, including erecting fencing and laying hard standing.
And as it seems likely they will appeal against the planning committee’s unanimous decision to veto the planning permission and go to appeal it seems they could be there some time yet.
Some of the travellers attended the meeting with Mr Coxall and seemed unpeterbed, laughing and joking as their plans were slammed.
The meeting had been addressed by Cllr Andrew Roast, whose ward the development lies in.
He said: “Those occupying the site have made it very clear by their actions that they are staying. The message now from this council is you are leaving. I’d like to thank the many residents of Corringham and Fobbing who helped us win this decision by writing in to show their objections.”
Fellow ward councillor Mark Coxshall said afterwards: “Now they have not got their planning I am pleased, but this is not going to be a quick conclusion to the issue, as I am sure this will go to appeal.
“The travellers are already started to bed in for a long stay; they have permanent power and water.
“We all know what happens next, they start building walls and fences andweendupwitha section of Stanford that looks like a cross between My Big Fat Gypsy Cesspit and Shameless.”