Several caravans and traveller families had pitched up on land opposite Goldsmith Drive, Rayleigh, and subsequently applied for planning permission to create a traveller’s site on the green belt land.
Numerous complaints from residents and councillors followed in response to the application, particularly focussing on the visual impact of the site and damage to the wildlife and green belt.
That Green Belt we have so many rules and regulations about, that is often political suicide to suggest building on?
Planning officers recommended the site be granted five year temporary planning permission.
Well, apparently, because the planning wonks deemed it more important that there’s not enough official sites for travellers to, well, not travel from in the borough. Any, in fact.
Rochford Council threw out the application, despite not having any authorised traveller sites in the borough.
Because unlike the planning wonks, they are elected. And they’d very much like to be so next time, too.
And while this ritual dance was going on, what were the travellers doing..?
Despite permission not being granted work has already started on the site.
Fences up to two metres in height have been erected around it, hardstanding has been laid and a cesspit installed.