End of 3 Year Battle to Evict Meriden Travellers

Campaigners who won a three-year battle to have travellers removed from a part of the green belt say the fight has not yet finished.

A group of travellers now have until May 21 to put a muddy field they had unlawfully developed back to the state they found it in three years ago said David McGrath, chairman of Meriden Residents Against Inappropriate Development (RAID).
Since 2010, RAID's group members have kept a round-the-clock vigil on the field near the village near Solihull in the West Midlands after a group of travellers showed up during a Bank Holiday weekend.
The travellers had bought the field but had no planning permission to develop the ground, including pitching their caravans and carrying out building work.
After 20 court and planning hearings and 1,088 days of keeping watch, the last of the travellers' caravans left on Saturday, a day before a High Court-imposed deadline was due to fall.
Today, RAID members have started pulling down their own nearby camp which had been manned day and night, through Christmases and New Years celebrations, by villagers.

Meriden Field

But lead campaigner David McGrath said: 'This is only the end of phase one. That land must be reinstated to its original status so the travellers have a month to take out the sewers they fitted, electricity junction boxes and put it back to the wildflower meadow it once was.''

The departure of the travellers, came after a deadline imposed by Birmingham's High Court which also ordered the land must be put back to its original state.

If no reinstatement takes place, Mr McGrath said the camp would 'move to outside the council's offices'' as it falls to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council to take any follow-up planning enforcement action.'


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