Travellers leave Underwood Greenbelt site after three years of planning application battles

Picture of the Underwood site
Picture of the Underwood site

Residents are celebrating after travellers who settled on Greenbelt land in Underwood finally vacated the site after more than three years of planning application battles with Ashfield District Council.

The travellers removed the last of their caravans from the site at the junction of the A608 and Felley Mill Lane South on Tuesday November 24 and blocked the entrance with dirt.

The group have been on the site since October 2011 when they bought the land with the view to developing it, but as it is Greenbelt land their applications have been denied.

Cllr Robert Sears-Piccavey who represents Underwood at Ashfield District Council said that there were ‘smiles all round’ at the news that the travellers had left.

He added: “It is a real win for the village as they have really pulled together to make this happen.

“We raised £3,000 at two public meetings where people pledged what they could so we could employ a planning consultant.

“That land has always been Greenbelt so it will be a long time before it is built on.”

Cllr Sears-Piccavey hopes the travellers will now sell the land.

The decision was taken by the council three weeks ago that the travellers had to move off the land and restore it to its original state which they are reported to be doing.

Since 2011, the group have submitted two planning applications to construct a utility building and hard standing for three caravans.

Both applications were refused and went to appeal which was dealt with by Secretary of State because travellers are a minority group.