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Thursday June 17 2021

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In Full . . .

Travellers’ visit is catalyst for debate

Posted on June 29 2014 at 11:09:33

The provocative subject of gypsies and travellers visiting the area led to lively discussion at two Alvechurch parish meetings.

More than 80 residents attended the council’s monthly planning meeting to object to the suggestion of a permanent travellers’ site by the main roundabout in Hopwood.

Concerns over dangerous access and the land being green belt were raised, but a report from Bromsgrove District Council’s Head of Planning said there is currently no requirement for such a site in the Bromsgrove area.

At the Parish Council meeting, the Parish Clerk reported that several complaints had been received about travellers staying in a field off Birmingham Road in Alvechurch, with claims that rubbish and human waste had been left in the field and on the adjacent public footpath.

Complainers had been advised that neither the parish or district councils nor the police could take action as the land is privately owned, but councillors felt that residents needed more reassurance that the council shared their concerns.

The Parish Clerk also told the meeting that she had sent an official letter to the moderator of the Alvechurch Village Society Facebook group, because group members had wrongly “outed” the landowner during an online discussion.

Coun Adrian Smith also agreed to mention the matter to the Society’s chairman.

Meanwhile, the gate to The Meadows will remain closed to prevent any further visits from travellers – although there had been some complaints from dog-walkers.

*  Councillors also had a heated debate about the use of “106 money” designated by the county council for road safety improvements near the Alvechurch schools site.

An extra crossing point had been proposed in the hope of preventing pupils from climbing over the fence from Hollington Road to cross the road there, instead of walking down to the existing crossing.

Despite councillors having approved the plan last year (as long as the landmark oak tree was preserved, which it has been), several have now raised concerns about the type of crossing, which is described as a “raised rubberised platform”.

Since the money is only available on a “use it or lose it” basis, councillors finally agreed to the scheme, subject to learning more about the crossing.

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