Councillor vows to fight traveller site

NEAABE111012c1, Councillor Robert Sears Piccavey at the travellers site on the greenebelt field, Underwood.
NEAABE111012c1, Councillor Robert Sears Piccavey at the travellers site on the greenebelt field, Underwood.

AN UNDERWOOD councillor has launched a campaign to put a stop to a traveller site being built on greenbelt land.

Cllr Robert Sears-Piccavey, who has called a public meeting to gather support, said the site off Felley Mill South is not in-keeping with the area and would ruin the countryside used by locals for walking.

NEAABE111012c3, Councillor Robert Sears Piccavey at the travellers site on the greenebelt field, Underwood.

NEAABE111012c3, Councillor Robert Sears Piccavey at the travellers site on the greenebelt field, Underwood.

He said he wants to get 1,000 signatures on a petition and wants Ashfield District Council to come up with a policy that stops travellers living wherever they please.

“Felley Mill is a nice rural area where people go walking with their dogs or go for a walk on a Sunday afternoon,” he told the Advertiser.

“We don’t want travellers there. It’s a very nice rural area that people use as a leisure space.”

Travellers have already laid surface chippings and erected a six-foot fence around the site, but have done so without planning permission

Cllr Sears-Piccavey said Ashfield District Council plan to issue site owners with a notice to remove the chippings and lower the fence.

But the councillor said he also heard the travellers intend to erect two big gates to close the site off while they wait to see if they get retrospective planning permission for the work.

“The fence does not fit with the surrounding area and the tarmac chippings are not in-keeping with the agricultural use as it should be,” he said. “I just hope they don’t get planning permission.”

The site faces Main Road and is big enough to accommodate between six and eight caravans.

Cllr Sears-Piccavey has now called a public meeting to be held at Underwood Miners’ Welfare on Sunday at 11am.

He has put notices up in shops and on notice boards and is urging as many people to turn up as possible to have their say on the situation.