From mancunian matters
The ex-MP dubbed the ‘Gypsy King’ is submitting plans for a proposed Travellers’ site on greenbelt land in Wilmslow – and has the support of Greenbelt’s chief executive.
Matthew Green, owner of Green Planning Solutions and ex-Lib Dem MP for Ludlow, has been dubbed the ‘Gypsy King’ by the press for his for his persistent support of Gypsies in illegal dwellings on greenbelt sites.
About a third of Green Planning Solutions’ clients are from Gypsy or Traveller backgrounds, and it has been asserted by the Daily Telegraph that they have earned thousands of pounds advising gypsies on illegal camps.
Their website claims that they "specialise in winning planning permission on difficult sites, usually rural locations including the greenbelt.”
Alex Middleton, chief executive of Greenbelt, who owns and manages greenbelt land in more than 750 locations across the country, lent his support to the legitimacy of the travellers’ claims.
He said: “At the end of the day Travellers need accommodation.
“If they leave it in the state in which it is granted to them, I don’t see a problem with that. It could even help alleviate some of the misconceptions about Travellers.”
If the application is successful, the 0.46 hectare site will be built off Moor Lane, and will feature one mobile home, one touring caravan and a day room.
However, locals are overwhelmingly not in favour of the proposed site, and many are sceptical of the plan’s terms, fearing far more caravans will occupy the site than suggested.
Moor Lane resident Terry Sleigh said: “What we have to consider is that it is green belt which can only be built on in exceptional circumstances. I do not see any reason for any sort of exceptional circumstances.
“If what is proposed did go ahead we are looking at hard standing for one caravan with a day room which contains washing facilities, toilet facilities and cooking facilities. Why on earth do they need a day room for one caravan?”
Other local residents have raised further issues, such as the effect the site will have on local schools and amenities such as rubbish collections.
Over 130 objections to the application have already been submitted to Cheshire East Council.
The planning application can be viewed on the council’s website, citing the reference 12/1144M.