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Illegal travellers camp must go

Wednesday, 12 June 2024 07:41

By Guy Henderson, local democracy reporter

Location of Chardanay (Image courtesy: Teignbridge Council)

Worries that some will be homeless

Councillors have voted to shut down an unauthorised gypsy and traveller site, despite being warned that it could make people homeless.

Teignbridge's planning committee heard the move is the latest in a long list of applications, enforcements and appeals over the land at Chardanay between Ashburton and Denbury.

One part of the site is authorised to provide three pitches. The other is a strip of agricultural land which has been the subject of enforcement action before.

Mobile homes were stored there without consent, and a report to the committee said that last year people had started living in them.

The report summed up: “There is no lawful reason for the mobile homes to be sited on the land for residential purposes.”

Cllr John Nutley (Lib Dem, Ashburton and Buckfastleigh) said: “There’s a lot of history here - so many applications and so many enforcement notices. The site owner has made no attempt to stop its use for residential purposes.”

Cllr Andrew MacGregor (SD Alliance, Bishopsteignton) said he is concerned for the people living on the site, and questioned whether a proposed six-month period for the land's owner to comply with the enforcement notice would give them time to find somewhere else to live.

The committee voted by 12 votes to two to go ahead with the enforcement, and Cllr Suzanne Sanders (Lib Dem, Chudleigh) told them: “It’s a clear breach of the rules.

“There’s no point in us having any planning rules at all if we don’t enforce them.”

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