Page last updated at 13:56 GMT, Friday, 21 May 2010 14:56 UK

Injunction over Meriden travellers' site

People outside the High Court in Birmingham
Campaigners clapped on hearing an injunction had been won

A High Court injunction has been won by a council to stop travellers building on land they own in a village.

Residents have been blockading a site in Meriden, West Midlands, which travellers occupied on 30 April.

The group, which began work without planning permission, will have its planning application considered by Solihull council on a date to be fixed.

His Honour Judge Charles Purle QC said the travellers appeared to have adopted an "unattractive approach".

'Adequate sites'

Speaking at the High Court in Birmingham, he said: "They appear to have done this immediately before the bank holiday so as to maximise the opportunity to establish their camp before anything effective could be done to stop them.

"That's an unattractive approach to the requirements to observe planning control."

Campaigners clapped outside the court on hearing an injunction had been won.

The travellers, who did not comment as they left court, had wanted permission to build proper sanitation on site and hard standing for caravans.

I'm not in a position to foretell the outcome of the planning application
His Honour Judge Charles Purle QC

But the judge said that was a matter for the council.

Philip Lloyd-Williams, from the authority, said: "Negotiations will take place between planning officers and occupants on site.

"[The talks will be held] to determine what the appropriate arrangements should be relating to humanitarian needs, sanitation and safety."

Local people have been blockading the site to stop further development.

One of the campaigners, David McGrath, said he thought it was "a victory for reasonableness".

He said: "It is reasonable that that site continues to be protected while the planning application is played out. That's what we've got today."

The judge said there was "a balance to protect the greenbelt and a need to provide adequate sites for gypsies."

He said: "I'm not in a position to foretell the outcome of the planning application - that's a matter for Solihull Borough Council in the first instance.

"The injunction sought is limited until such time that authority is given by planning permission or express written consent of Solihull Borough Council."

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