Gransnet forums



(113 Posts)
riclorian Fri 02-Sep-11 18:30:43

What are other members views on Travellers ? I become quite incensed when I hear of them taking over private land and even building on it without the neccesary planning permission !! A close family member has had this happen to him -- it was a very costly and dangerous business ,getting rid of them (court orders etc.)their rubbish and needles etc ..Why is it that nowadays if you flout the law you can seemingly get away with it while we law abiding citizens are penalised for erecting even a shed without permission?I would be pleased to hear other's views on this subject .

susiecb Fri 02-Sep-11 18:37:14

How can you be a traveller and insist on a permanent site isnt that a contradiction in terms? And what has it got to do with Vanessa Redgrave perhaps she could have them in her back garden in Hampstead!

greenmossgiel Fri 02-Sep-11 18:53:32

Hmm, perhaps she could, susiecb!.....they could leave their faeces and other stuff they no longer want to keep for themselves in the middle of her garden, like some 'travellers' do in the middle of open grassy areas local to where we live. Our own council seem to bow to their every wish, doing nothing but pay lip service with regards to deterring them (boulders in roadways etc, which the travellers move easily with their own vehicles). angry

Jacey Fri 02-Sep-11 19:02:55

Yes ...I believe that all ethnic groups should have the ability to live their lives according to their particular set of beliefs ...but ...with that goes their respect for other people's way of life.

Yes ...fixed 'temporary' sites ...where they can stay for short periods ... before continuing on their 'travels' ...but ...they need to leave these sites clean and tidy.

No one has the right to encamp on private property ...let alone build on it ...the council should be held accountable for that ...turning a blind eye is no solution. The council should have acted immediately ...not just 'hope' that they would move on. Curious ...were the children allowed to enrol in the local schools?

I think we might be back to the Human Rights Act ...where are the responsibilities?

gma Fri 02-Sep-11 19:33:40

Yes Yes Yes I agree entirely with Jacey,greenmossgiel,susiecb and riclorian !!!
What will happen now that 'rent a rabble' have moved in and set up 'Camp Constant' I dread to think. How do these 'travellers' finance their lavish caravans full of sparkly tat, satellite tvs and brand new vehicles. Do they pay council tax, nat.ins. etc. do they qualify for NHS treatment.I know that they own part of the land but it should not be built on without planning permission. The council concerned have been turning a blind eye for years and hoping it would all go away. WRONG.
Everybody has a right to live as they choose, but within the boundaries of the law of the land. Come on Vanessa Redgrave show how much you are on the 'travellers' side and let them move into your garden!!
Time for a wine

creamtea Fri 02-Sep-11 19:48:23

Hi everyone I so agree with you all - how can you be a travellor when you dont go anyware ! ! the 'travelors' who seem to be most vocal all seem to have very strong irish acsents so why are thay not 'traveling' in Ireland. and why do they think the laws of the land don't apply to them !

Hattie64 Fri 02-Sep-11 20:01:02

The problem here is they floated the Planning Laws, even though they had bought the land, they didn't have planning permission to build on it. I gather, the local Council, as now directed by the UN, now has to find them other places to stay? I think I am correct in saying this. In various interviews and a tv programme, it is only the women who show their faces, the men do not wish to be seen

FlicketyB Fri 02-Sep-11 21:20:32

I couldnt care less who the 'Travellers' are or where they come from but there are planning laws in this country and if anybody ignores them, whether from a special 'community' or just an ordinary resident, they should all be subject to the same penalties.

Every year there are cases in the paper where non-traveller chancers have either got planning permission for one building and built something three times as large or have built a house without planning permission and attempted to 'hide' the house from the planners for four years to get round the law that way. In all but the most exceptional cases those houses have been demolished, in many cases by the local council itself. These people built homes without getting planning permission, why should they be treated any differently than anybody else.

harrigran Fri 02-Sep-11 21:57:40

Yes they should be subject to planning regulations, all the rest of us have to jump through hoops to get what we want. It has taken me 15 months to get the permission for my extension and it has to be done by the book, every time the building inspector comes to check a stage of work he has to be paid, by us. I don't see why one group of people should do as they wish and get away with it.

Granny23 Fri 02-Sep-11 22:29:34

So much misinformation here. Have people been swallowing the Daily Mail whole? e.g. 'No one has the right to encamp on private property ...let alone build on it ...the council should be held accountable for that ...turning a blind eye is no solution. The council should have acted immediately ...not just 'hope' that they would move on.

I understand that the 'travellers' actually own the land but were refused planning permission to build homes on it.

Curious ...were the children allowed to enrol in the local schools?'
Not only allowed but in fact required. Travellers children MUST attend school, or be properly home educated, under the same rules as apply to all children. Hence why travellers need permanent or semi permanent places to stay. Many families have a large caravan which mainly stays on site with school age children/mums/grannies and a smaller tourer which travels to wherever the others are working/visiting/touring. We have a council run site nearby and the children from there attend the local primary school where my DGS goes. They wear the school uniform and the only way you can identify them as travellers is if you see them walking the mile from the school to the Travellers site.

'have very strong irish acsents (sic) so why are they not 'traveling' in Ireland'

There are five native nationalities in the British Isles. Four - Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish are geographically/politically based but the fifth counts the whole of the British Isles as their homeland and feel free, indeed sometimes it is a compulsion, to move from corner to corner, north to south, to Ireland and back. Their accent may sound Irish to the English but does not sound Irish to the Irish IYKWIM!

I am a little shock to see some of the views here on Gransnet. I am sure that people would be much more circumspect if commenting on any other minority.

harrigran Fri 02-Sep-11 22:35:05


jangly Fri 02-Sep-11 22:39:36

What's that supposed to mean harrigran?

Perfectly good post, I would say.

glassortwo Fri 02-Sep-11 22:44:17

Welcome back jangly hope you enjoyed your holiday.

Joan Fri 02-Sep-11 22:45:36

I don't live in England, but I grew up in Yorkshire and remember being scared of Gypsies, as we called them then, and I was terrified of their dogs. When they camped near my friend's house, a railway house in an isolated location, I never ever dared go past their site, as their dogs were vicious and would bite. So everyone kept away from them and they kept away from the locals. I don't remember any trouble - it was just a sort of separation, which both sides preferred.

The travellers of today have a right to their lifestyle, as have the residents of the areas where they live. I don't think the locals are lying when they say they've been harassed. I don't think it is a lie that the travellers have bought land and built on it without permission. And I do think councils tend to do little and hope for the best.

It is up to the authorities to act sooner rather than later - obviously demolishing illegal dwellings is going to cause bother. Ignoring problems does NOT make the problems go away. A bit of early common sense by the authorities would have prevented all this, and the Daily mail would have had to find some other right wing cause.

jangly Fri 02-Sep-11 22:47:10

Hello Glass. Yes, did thank you. smile

Twobabes Fri 02-Sep-11 23:45:21

Well said, Granny23 and Joan. Thank you for your considered comments.

Baggy Sat 03-Sep-11 07:59:00

People should be allowed to live a nomadic sort of life if they want. It's a very ancient way of living, which we should respect. Mutual respect might then be forthcoming.

I object to litter too, but just looking around some of the lochs in Scotland and thinking about all the junk that's supposed to be floating around in the Atlantic, I think "the rest of us" need to sort our own trashy lifestyles before criticising others.

Plus, it was the Daily Mail!!!!!!! Written to provoke negativity.

Zephrine Sat 03-Sep-11 08:30:26

That's the point Baggy, the people on this site are not nomadic, they have been there for years and Essex county council have been trying to move them on for years. The ECC have tried to resolve this problem in many ways over the years without much success. They are next to a council provided, legally run site and you can see that the the unofficial site is overcrowded. Yes they have the right not to live in houses and travel but but how did they acquire the right not to live by the rules the rest of us have to? I am not a Daily mail reader. I used to live in Essex.

Baggy Sat 03-Sep-11 09:42:37

I haven't read the article, but it has been mentioned that the travellers own the land they illegally built on. Does anyone know why they aren't allowed to build on their own land? Just asking.

Also, it's not clear to me why the council wants to move the travellers on, if they're on their own land.


creamtea Sat 03-Sep-11 10:46:30

The reason they havent got planning permission to build on 'there own land' is because it is Green Belt Land - countryside - any of us can own green belt land but we would never get planning permission to build. It is usualy land that seperates towns and villages and stop areas turning into sprawling areas of houses with no defenition between differnt towns or villages. So as they have not got planning permission to build they are in effect breaking the law by living on there green belt land.

Zephrine Sat 03-Sep-11 10:48:21

They do own the land and they can't build on it for the same reasons as you or I can't just build on land we own. They have to apply for planning permission and any building have to conform to all planning regulations. This problem has being ongoing for at least 10 years and ECC has tried to resolve it. How would you feel if someone bought land next to you and set up a motor bike track, or a caravan site, or built a mansion and held all night raves. The planning laws are there for a reason, although they seem in danger of being eroded any time now.

Jangran Sat 03-Sep-11 12:26:06

Well, I am all in favour of the rule of the law, of course. We are all equal under the law, aren't we? Or are we? I was a member of a borough council for over 25 years, and I found out a lot about planning law during that time.

To summarise - anyone who wanted a small improvement had to jump through various hoops when applying for planning permission, and it took ages, and was quite often turned down. However, builders usually gained permission to erect houses, even if their request did not fit in with the local borough plan. The reason, I found out, eventually, was that HM government had (I think it was in Planning Guidance Note 3) decided that it should be assumed that businesses should be granted permission unless there was very good reason not to. This decision was taken a lot more seriously by planning officers than was any views expressed by mere elected members.

In other words, whilst domestic applicants for planning permission had to prove that they would cause no inconvenience to anyone, people that opposed business applicants had to prove that the application would make life more or less impossible. If they did that, successfully, so that the council turned down an application, the businesses would appeal to the Secretary of State, who would then grant the permission. And the council would have to pay costs.

I found out a bit about travellers when I was on the Council too. It seemed that no-one objected to travellers, but no-one wanted them anywhere near to them. There is (or was then) a legal duty on councils to provide sites for travellers, but it was a duty that was impossible to carry out because no-one wanted travellers near them, and whoever was the councillor for the areas with a proposed site took care to ensure that the site was found unsuitable.

The result, of course, was that travellers really did have to travel in my borough, and could only stay in one place long enough to be evicted (although that sometimes took quite a while).

The trouble with the rule of law is that the laws are all written by and for the "haves", not the "have nots"

Baggy Sat 03-Sep-11 12:54:53

Thank you for the explanation, cream and jan. I fully approve of green belt laws. Funny how councils sometimes flout them for their own ends, but that's another issue.

If the travellers lived on their green belt land in a more traditional 'traveller' way, in movable caravans, which did move periodically to other sites, I suppose that would (technically if not aesthetically) be within the law, wouldn't it?

It rather sounds as if they aren't travellers at all but 'permies' like most of us.

Baggy Sat 03-Sep-11 12:56:59

Have now read your last post, jangran. Thank you for that and your great good sense. Power corrupts indeed.

gma Sat 03-Sep-11 13:39:35

I am very interested in everybodys point of view. Yes I do understand about green belt land and what our countryside would be like without it, BUT nobody has told me why we do not see any traveller men at these confrontations. Where are they all, sitting inside the caravans drinking tea and watching TV? Out at work? or maybe travelling. The traveller women all appear to be very strong and vocal so maybe the men leave them all to it. Or is there another you know?confused