From the Essex Chronicle
GYPSIES who set up camp on Writtle Mill have been moved on by the landowner.
Graham Aldis, who owns the 12 acres of green belt land in Chelmsford Road, opposite Hylands School, allowed the 12 gypsies to stay on his land for seven days.
But after their week was up and after increased concern amongst the residents of Writtle, Mr Aldis told the family to leave.
Mr Aldis, who is selling the land for £300,000, said: "The Gypsies broke onto my land and I went down there to speak to them. I told them breaking in wasn't on but they said they were only going to stay for seven days and so I agreed to it.
"The truth of the matter is if I'd been able to develop the land 16 years ago, when I bought it, then it wouldn't just be sat there as an eyesore.
"I've had numerous plans turned down to develop the land, which is really frustrating, so now I'm selling it off."
The Gypsies moved onto the site after fleeing their home in Devon.
They had previously set up camp on the side of the A414 towards Ongar.
A parish council meeting was held last Wednesday at Writtle village hall, which included a discussion about the gypsies.
Vice chairman of Writtle parish council, Ralph Bray, said: "Obviously, we're delighted the Gypsies have moved on. There was concern in the village."
When asked about whether development on the site could prevent further gypsies from setting up camp there, Mr Bray, added: "The land is green belt which separates Chemsford from Writtle, so any development on there is absolutely out of the question."
Dianne Collins, who has lived in Writtle for 11 years and attended the parish meeting, said: "The Gypsies caused no trouble and I had no concerns about them being in the village.
"I can understand that they must have felt vulnerable while they were at the side of the A414 and were looking for somewhere safer to stay until their legal pitches in Maldon were ready."
Mr Aldis who set up village restaurant Graham's On The Green, bought the land in 1997 for £68,500. He added: "I bought the land in auction and outbid the parish council. All of my ideas to improve the site and transform it from an eyesore were rejected.
"When I no longer own it, I'm sure there will be a real Gypsy problem there as they won't be as vigilant as me."