Council acts to halt work at caravan site; PLANNING: MP welcomes 'firm response'.
COUNCIL chiefs have taken action to halt unauthorised building work on a controversial caravan site in north Warwickshire.
They have issued a Temporary Stop Notice on travellers who have set up home on the site in Heanley Lane, Hurley Common.
The families have submitted two planning applications to North Warwickshire Borough Council - but have been carrying out building work before borough councillors have had the chance to consider the applications.
The Temporary Stop Notice says no further works can be done and that no further caravans can be brought on to the site with immediate effect. Failure to comply with the notice is a criminal offence and the notice lasts for 28 days - by which time the council will have considered the planning applications.
North Warwickshire MP Mike O'Brien has welcomed what he describes as "the firm response" by the borough council after he appealed to the authority to act swiftly.
He said: "Building works had continued to take place so the officers have now acted.
"I welcome this response from the council."
He said he was concerned that if work continued, the council would have been faced with the caravan site being fully constructed and it would have been difficult to remove it.
"The council will need to use its planning powers if there is any breach of the Stop Notice," he said.
He said the pending planning applications would be considered within the next few weeks.
Mr O'Brien added: "Officers served the notice rather than enforcement notices or requiring that all the current caravans be removed, on the grounds of proportionality and to allow the council to consider all
the factors in the case fully."
Council officers will make regular site visits to ensure the notice is not breached.
North Warwickshire Borough Council had received two planning applications for the site.
One is to change the use of an authorised Camping and Caravanning Club site to a caravan site for three families with five caravans and the second is on adjoining land for eight mobile homes and eight touring caravans together, with a stable block.
At the moment the sites, which are in the green belt, can be used lawfully for Caravan and Camping Club activities.
Mr O'Brien says that, within the borough of North Warwickshire, there was permanent Romany and traveller provision for 17 pitches at Alvecote and one pitch at Mancetter.
There are a further seven temporary pitches at Hartshill.
CONTROVERSY... The entrance to the site at Hurley Common, north Warwickshire. RB180808SITE1; RESPONSE PRAISED... MP Mike O'Brien.