A traveller and her planning agent are accused of plotting to get permission for a mobile home which is actually used as a base for unofficial paving firms.And why do they believe this…?
Basildon Council believes Mary McCann does not live at a property called Hatchertang in Hovefields Avenue, Wickford, a public inquiry at the Basildon Centre heard yesterday.
Single mum Miss McCann, 29, gets income support and argues it is a safe haven for four children, aged four to 13.Whoops!
Yet, several council photographs taken since 2007 show up to 13 vehicles on site, including five caravans, building materials and four trucks used for her family’s driveway business.
This is the second inquiry since April 2008 when her appeal was rejected after the inspector ruled she was no longer a gipsy because she had no intention to travel again due to the “hassle”.Well, of course it was…
The current hearing was ordered in March after she appealed to the High Court using legal aid.
Miss McCann’s planning agent, Alison Heine, of Heine Planning Consultancy, is a specialist in retrospective approval for travellers.Or as other people understand them, ‘holidays’.
Since her involvement, Miss McCann’s evidence changed to claim she regularly travels to gipsy fairs and during the summer.
Seriously, is that all it takes to be classed as a ‘traveller’ these days? Some people spend months in Ibiza. Are they too ‘travellers’?
Miss Heine blamed this on Miss McCann not understanding the implications of answers given at the previous inquiry.‘I didn’t realise I was incriminating myself at my last trial, your honour..’ This is grounds for appeal now?
Neil Costen, council head of enforcement, told the inquiry: “The appellant is saying evidence she gave at the last inquiry was untruthful, because she thought telling untruths would help her.”Indeed.
But it’s a single line at the end of this report that stood out for me:
He said settled residents, too fearful to attend the inquiry, spoke of similar circumstances.Welcome to the English justice system. Twinned with the Sicilian justice system…