From the Oxford Times
THE handling of two Travellers’ sites has come under the spotlight in West Oxfordshire.
West Oxfordshire District Council has been criticised for the way it has dealt with the two sites in Eynsham.
The council had warned Travellers on an illegal site off the B4449 that they had until last Friday to get off the land, but they remained on the site last night.
Meanwhile, the council has been accused of placing an “unreasonable” condition when granting planning permission for a legal site in Oxford Road.
Eynsham Parish Council chairman Gordon Beach said people had moved onto the illegal site last summer and it now contained eight to 10 caravans and about 20 Travellers. He said villagers reported the site to the district council shortly afterwards.
He said: “The district council had an agreement that the site would be gone by March 31, but needless to say it is still there.
“They are on private land and we are extremely disappointed that the district council has not cleared the site as promised.”
District council spokesman Sara Long confirmed travellers at the site had been issued with an enforcement notice to leave by Friday. and said the council would be investigating reports that the Travellers had not left the site.
Gypsy Council spokesman Jos-eph Jones said: “One of the problems is that Oxfordshire does not have enough sites for the Gypsy and Traveller community to live in.
“Until Oxfordshire provides enough sites for the Gypsy and Traveller community, they will continue to have camps set up where ever they can find a place to set up.”
The legal site in Oxford Road is owned by Elvis Price and Jill Hoggett, who won planning permission to house one caravan on the land in July 2010.
They have applied to remove a condition on the planning application which allows only them to use the land as a Traveller site.
The condition means that if they leave the land they will have to clear the site.
The district council said the reason for it was “to limit the visual and neighbour amenity impact of the development”. No decision has yet been made on the application.
see also: Oxford Mail - COMMENT: The rules have to be applied fairly