1. ITV Report

Gypsies lose planning appeal

Gypsy site in Meriden, Solihull Photo: ITV Central News

A legal bid by a group of travellers to stay on green belt land in the West Midlands has been rejected by a High Court judge.

The families moved onto a field off Eaves Green Lane in Meriden in May 2010, but were refused retrospective planning permission by Solihull Borough Council.

The local authority's decision was backed by Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles last October, leading the travellers to take their battle to the High Court in Birmingham.

Their appeal against the planning permission ruling was dismissed by judge Robert Owen QC on Tuesday.

Solihull Borough Council will now apply to the same judge for an injunction to remove the travellers from the site.

The presence of the traveller camp in the village, near Solihull, led residents to form a pressure group named Residents Against Inappropriate Development (RAID).

Members of the group maintain a 24-hour vigil opposite the field to monitor the travellers and block the delivery of building materials to the plot.

The full report by Keith Wilkinson:

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