When is a traveller not a traveller?

Controversial Darwen gypsy site gets planning permission after 10-year fight
AFTER 10 years, a controversial gypsy caravan site in Darwen has finally been granted planning permission.
It's not exactly a huge site and it doesn't cause any problems, but it seems that isn't the case. There is no planning permission in place for the site, they are applying retrospectively. A lot of the 'caravans' are actually prefab buildings. And besides, if these people were not members of a much protected minority, this site would have been torn down by council enforcers long ago.
Darwen Mayor Councillor Paul Browne, a member of the planning committee, objected to the proposal.
He said: “I was spellbound when I went round the site on Tuesday and saw a bunch of caravans up there - they were prefabricated bungalows, not caravans.
“If anybody else in this borough did something like that, we’d be on to them like a ton of bricks. It’s wrong that we’ve been recommended to approve it.”
“It’s making this borough a laughing stock.”
It doesn't make the borough a laughing stock when retired folk build extensions without permission, or families build over sized playhouses, you just steam in with the jackboots and deal with it. But look what happens when you start to make minority groups so protected they are untouchable, even to yourselves. You become powerless.

You will only be powerless to deal with travellers though, the next time an unapproved extension goes up it will be back to business as usual.
Councillor Jacqueline Slater added: “I do have a lot of sympathy for Coun Browne, but it’s been here 10 years, and to me, we can’t do a lot about it.
Laws be damned, these are travellers so there's nothing we can do.
“But who will police that there’s only going to be 17 pitches, and why aren’t they paying council tax? They certainly aren’t travellers.”
Indeed. All this protection has been afforded to 'travellers', but when they apply for permanent planning permission to stay in one spot after being there for ten years already, surely they are no longer travellers but regular members of the borough?.

Cake and eat it? Only for those with a victim card


JuliaM said...

Bucko said...