To ignore neighbour's letter through my door....

(58 Posts)
HarryandLouLou Wed 07-Aug-13 12:34:19

.....that asks all local residents to object to minor travellers site planning application?

I know gypsies and travellers often get bad press, but I had a look at the planning application on the council website and it's for 2 caravans, 1 static and 1 to be lived in. Whoever applied must own the land as its a request for the land to be used as a place of residence.

The neighbour (who I'm not sure of their identity) is claiming that should this proceed it will "blight our homes and reduce sale prices" etc etc.

From a birds eye view, our street and cul de sac will be their nearest neighbours, but there is no access between the site and our homes.

Aibu or naive?

NoComet Wed 07-Aug-13 13:09:54

YANBU
One of DDs best friends was a traveler, who did part of the year at her school. She was absolutely lovely.

Our 'settled' caravan' dweller is so little trouble I signed her petition to get left in peace.

After 10 years plus of being no trouble they seem to have money/permission to build a house.

Conversely the travellers who took over the town playing fields and the new age travellers that descended on the Welsh moors were a total menace.

Tailtwister Wed 07-Aug-13 13:13:34

I would think in terms of what would put you off buying a property. People are extremely careful, it's the one of the most expensive purchases the majority make. I know we took a careful look at not only the immediate area, but further afield too. If most people were honest I'm sure they would discount a house nearby a large traveller site and that's bound to affect the value of your house. It's not just how you feel personally, but how any prospective buyers would feel if you ever wanted to sell.

liquidstate Wed 07-Aug-13 13:30:09

I have a travellers site close to me and that was one that expanded. Its an eyesore and the kids are a nuisance. Also equipment including a forklift was stolen from my husbands farm one night. A neighbour saw the forklift being driven into the site and reported it stolen for us but the police did nothing.

I would like to live and let live but in this case I would object.

BrokenSunglasses Wed 07-Aug-13 13:36:50

It's up to you whether you ignore it or not, but you are being naive to assume that you won't end up with problems.

You just don't know unless you have discussed it with the individual travellers. Some are lovely and make a big effort to become part of their community. Some don't and seem to treat anyone who isn't a traveller with contempt and behave very disrespectfully towards the neighbours and the area.

You just don't know what type you will get, so your neighbours concern is valid.

The letter is probably anonymous because its being sent by someone who is fearful of being targeted by travellers if they find out and have a problem with it. And that would be another valid and reasonable concern.

ouryve Wed 07-Aug-13 13:40:19

eurochick - I know people who live in houses who live like you describe. hides piles of bricks and rubble in back garden

PanicMode Wed 07-Aug-13 13:40:49

I have just written a long reply and it's disappeared.

Basically, you are being naive. Perhaps the neighbour doesn't want to put their name for fear of reprisals - the local travellers near my parents have been deemed untouchable by the local police because their children (the police's) have been threatened with being harmed if the police do anything. When planning was applied for, all of the windows in the houses of the objectors were smashed - but the police didn't do anything, not even question them "because there wasn't enough evidence". Expensive farm equipment has gone missing (and been found on their land), they are known to be connected to drug supply in the part of the world where my parents are, and still, nothing is done.

You may be very lucky and end up with model travellers as neighbours because they do exist, but I wouldn't count on it.

Xihha Wed 07-Aug-13 13:41:22

as quesadilla pointed out, It really depends on what they mean by traveller as different groups have different ways of life.

My school had a lot of gypsies in the winter, they were lovely, their site was clean and nice, dogs properly trained etc (I was friends with a couple of them so visited a few times) and the travellers who descend in their boats for river festival and visit the pub i worked in have always been polite and friendly and cleaned up after themselves.

however the group of travellers that decided they were going to take over a field near my mums were an absolute pain in the arse with no respect for anyone or anything, that being said they also didn't bother with planning permission, they just appeared.

Personally as you can't see the site and theres a fair gap between you I would ignore the letter.

Mimishimi Wed 07-Aug-13 13:41:39

YANBU . There might be more on occasion (like family gatherings) but likely as not, it will only be the two vans on the one site. Do have to admit that sometimes it does get dirty outside the vans - this has to do with a concept of the inner area (body, soul, house, car etc) needing to be spotlessly clean but the exterior is not as important. If that's a problem, just ask them nicely if they could clean it up a bit and honestly it won't be minded. Also, big difference in behaviour between Irish travellers and Romanichal - they are not related.

angelos02 Wed 07-Aug-13 13:41:51

YY to everything broken sunglasses said.

Years ago, some travellers moved in near to where I used to live. They were there for about a month. I'd lived there 2 years before, never been burgled. In the 2 weeks the travellers were there, we were burgled twice. Once they'd left, not broken into again. Make of that what you will.

ouryve Wed 07-Aug-13 13:43:11

How do you know the caravans are for travellers, anyhow? They might be intended as somewhere for seasonal workers or guests to stay. The fact that one of the caravans is static doesn't say travellers, to me.

angelos02 Wed 07-Aug-13 13:43:17

few weeks. Not 2 weeks.

whois Wed 07-Aug-13 13:46:21

I think you are being naive. Those that get 'hysterical' often have had direct experience with travellers.

Mogz Wed 07-Aug-13 14:07:32

At the other end of our village is a planned traveller's site, it is only small (maybe 20 dwellings), self contained and is well kept, honestly the messiest and noisiest part about it is the pony they keep tethered on the grass by the road. And he is super cute and loves cuddles so I say live and let live.

MairyHoles Wed 07-Aug-13 14:30:32

I can see both sides really. My former neighbour asked me to object to a planned traveller site next to our rural properties. I didn't want to, as my family were travellers 2 generations ago and I don't think everone can be tarred with the same stick. He pointed out that our houses would be robbed, farm machinery stolen etc. In the end I didn't object as I felt his reasons for wanting to object didn't sit well with me and weren't a concern to me. However, thinking on it, I would have been concerned about the amount of traffic on the narrow single track road where you have to reverse back if you encounter a tractor as a result of 20 more families. It is also a designated cycle route and home to about 4 protected species. There is no mains water or sewage serving our properties and they had not mentioned installing a septic tank. If my neighbour had brought these up I may have supported his objection but as it was I left it. In the end it was rejected anyway. I admit I was also concerned about how they would enforce the amount of caravans there, if more DID appear it can take years to have them removed and I certainly would not have wanted 70 caravans on the small strip of land next door.

Pootles2010 Wed 07-Aug-13 14:45:52

Can definitely also see both sides - travellers, as with all folk, can be decent, or can be awful. I think part of the problem is as they tend to be transient they can be difficult to pin down if they do cause trouble, iyswim?

So locals end up not trusting them, and visa versa, which only aggravates matters. So people end up not knowing any travellers personally, and only notice the trouble makers, and so they end up projecting that to the whole community.

frogwatcher42 Wed 07-Aug-13 14:55:23

It is possible that it is a permanent resident wanting to get planning permission for a new house on green field farming land, but has to get this first as the house wouldn't get permission. Once they have lived in the caravan for a few years they are more likely to get permission for a house.

Or the caravans are for seasonal farm workers?

Two caravans (one of which is static) is not your average travellers site is it? Therefore if my idea above isn't the case, there is the possibility that it becomes a larger site over time and rightly or wrongly, that would no doubt impact on house prices.

WooWooSister Wed 07-Aug-13 15:17:21

Ooh two traveller goading threads on the one day hmm
At the risk of repeating myself, I've worked with travelling communities for over a decade, and they are the same as any other community - there are good and bad in every community. Some of them have dogs but some of them don't hmm . Most of them pay council tax. If they are from the fairground, most of them also pay VAT, tax, etc, as they are small businesses.

The naked bigotry against travellers has escalated so much in recent years that bullying of traveller children in schools in the UK has almost returned to 1960s levels. sad

As someone said upthread there are also lots of different types of travellers. If you read the planning application it might shed light on which type have submitted the application (because it is one of the few (if not the only ) applications where you have to specify your race/ethnic origin/minority group.

You might also find that it isn't travellers. Lots of people who own land in the country apply for permission for a caravan first then apply for planning permisison for a house a few years later.

As for the fact that 2 will become 10, it will only do so if they apply to change a condition of planning. If the planning hasn't changed to allow more caravans to be sited there and more caravans move on then the Council can apply for the others to be removed.

somewheresomehow Wed 07-Aug-13 16:59:49

once planning permission is granted i think you wont have a leg to stand on if they decide to get more caravans on the site at a later date
If the travelers didn't go around the area they pitch up in nicking everything that aint nailed down and creating tons and tons of mess and crap and causing trouble they might be tolerated a bit more

Whothefuckfarted Wed 07-Aug-13 17:19:48

I'd listen to Gollygosh123

Oblomov Wed 07-Aug-13 17:36:19

I too think the Op is very naieve. You will live to regret this. I swear.

TallyGrenshall Wed 07-Aug-13 17:56:19

It's entirely up to you if you want to object or not.

My village has a fairly large site and we are nit a high crime area. When I was growing up, most of the crime committed was by 3 families on my estate not the travellers. A couple of my friends bought some land in a different village and applied for 2 caravans 10 years ago. Theres still only 2 (static) caravens there. They don't let any of their friends or family pull up on their land, they just wanted somewhere pernanent for them.

ilovesooty Wed 07-Aug-13 18:22:09

That's exactly the same sort of application friends of mine put in prior to planning permission for a house. I'd also bin something that was delivered to me unsigned.

ElectricSoftParade Wed 07-Aug-13 18:36:56

Obviously it is up to you if you wish to object although I would be warey of any unsigned letters.

I live near a largeish traveller site and have done for about 9 years. In all that time I haven't had any problems with any of the travellers either around the area or at school.

Other folk claim to have had problems and attributed them to the travellers but I haven't. Some of the women are not very friendly (I think preferring to stick together, particulary at school) which is fair enough. Others are though.

DENMAN03 Wed 07-Aug-13 18:46:49

My sister lived next door to a site that had only one static caravan. It was frequently visited by up to 10 others on a regular basis. They would leave huge amounts of rubbish and the kids would be rude and aggressive if you tried to drive past them on the lane. One night there was a massive fight between them and another gang of travellers! Im not hysterical over travellers but they don't really do themselves any favours. If they would just clean up after themselves it would go a long way to making me feel nicer towards them. Just my experience. Not saying every traveller behaves in this way, although have yet to see any that don't.

When you respond to planning applications, you need to use "planning" reasons. Things like "not within the permitted development area on the village plan", "out of keeping with the conservation area" or "insufficient mains water and sewerage to serve the dwellings". Obviously you need to know local information to be able to come up with planning reasons to support or oppose the plans and the local development plans may well have a section on the provision of sites for travellers. However I very much doubt whether an objection "we don't like these sort of people, you know what they are like, it starts off with 2 caravans and next thing you know there are 10 with feral children and dogs" would actually have any influence, and rightly so.

So you need to think both about whether you want to respond and on what grounds. How would you feel if they put two small houses there? Is this really any different?

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