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  1. Jane Hesketh

Leicester council to decide location of gypsy sites

A decision will be made this evening on the location of two proposed gypsy and traveller sites in Leicester.

The City Council's Planning and Development Committee will hear the formal application from from the developer Framework Housing Association to build two sites in the north of the city.

There has been fierce opposition to the sites from local campaign group LE4, who claim residents have not been properly consulted over the plans, and that those living close to Greengate Lane have suffered from the "illegally tolerated" travellers at the site.

Developers want to create 6 pitches at Greengate Lane, and ten at Redhill Way.

The council says any residents who oppose the plans are free to express their views at tonight's meeting, which takes place at the African Caribbean Centre in Highfields, Leicester at 6pm.

Government: 'Only sustainable plans should be supported'

The National Planning Policy Framework makes very clear that only sustainable development for local plans should be supported, not development in any location or at any cost. It also contains strong environmental protections, including for Green Belt land.

Additionally the government does not set housing or Gypsy and Traveller pitch targets, and abolished the flawed top-down targets.

All local councils are encouraged to have up to date local plans, setting out how they will meet their accommodation needs for local people, and which take into account the views of local communities.

– Department for Communities and Local Government


  1. Keith Wilkinson

Controversial plans for homes and traveller sites in Warwickshire, full report

Controversial plans are being discussed tonight to provide up to 31 permanent sites for travellers - and twelve thousand new homes in parts of Warwickshire. Some of the development would be in Greeen Belt areas.

There's opposition to the schemes. But a council leader says they've no option but to tackle the shortage of traveller sites and affordable homes.

The Department for Communities and Local Government's response to the plans can be seen here.

Potential travellers' sites for Warwick to be chosen

Permanent caravan site Credit: John Giles/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Sites which could be set aside for gypsy and traveller accommodation will be chosen by Warwick District Council tonight. The selected locations will then be put out for public consultation.

The Council says it needs to find 31 permanent sites within the next 15 years, 25 of those within the next five years.

Identifying sites to accommodate Gypsy and Traveller communities is something required by law and in the National Planning polices.

Forced labour family jailed, full report

Five members of a traveller family have been sentenced to a total of almost 19 years in prison for luring vulnerable men off the streets and forcing them into hard labour.

The Connors family enjoyed top-of-the-range cars and expensive holidays - while the workers lived in squalor on caravan sites in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Cheltenham, getting little or no pay.

Today a judge said they had exploited their victims' vulnerability for their own commercial gain. Rebecca Broxton was at Bristol Crown Court.

  1. National

Family faces up to six years in prison over forced labour

Five members of the same family have all been jailed by a judge at Bristol Crown Court for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour.

William Connors, 52, has been jailed for six and a half years and his wife Mary, 48, received a sentence of two years and three months.

The couple's son, John, 29, was jailed for four years. Their other son James, 20, got three years detention in a young offender institution.

Son-in-law Miles Connors, 24, received a three year prison sentence.


'Life of luxury' travellers to be sentenced tomorrow

The family of travellers will be sentenced later tomorrow Credit: ITV Central

Five members of a family of travellers, who 'lived a life of luxury' in the Midlands while forcing an army of labourers to live in 'squalor' will be sentenced tomorrow (Wednesday) after being found guilty of keeping their own private workforce.

A jury convicted Billy Connors, his wife Mary, their sons John and James and their son-in-law Miles, after a three-month trial.

The court heard they picked up vulnerable men to work for their paving and patio business.

The labourers lived in filthy caravans on sites in Cheltenham and Leicestershire, and were paid as little as £5 a day.

Police hunt gunman after shooting at travellers' site

Police in Cambridgeshire are hunting a gunman after three men were shot at a travellers' site in Peterborough. Credit: ITV Anglia

Police in Cambridgeshire are hunting a gunman after three men were shot at a travellers' site in Peterborough.

Two men suffered serious injuries and one man suffered minor injuries in the incident at the Oxney Road site.

All three have been taken to hospital where they remain, two in a critical condition and one in a stable condition.

For more read here.

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