Travellers want the council to allow them to stay in Merseyside permanently.


Travellers want the council to allow them to stay in Merseyside permanently.

A family in Merseyside wants to set up a permanent traveller site in order to settle down and provide their children with “stability and predictability.”

Sefton Council turned down Martin and Mary Doherty’s plans for six traveller tents on what used to be a pony paddock south of Spurriers Lane in Melling in December 2018.

According to council documents, the plans drew 700 protests from neighbors and one from a local MP.

The fact that the traveller’s site would be built on green belt land was one of the most prominent reasons residents in the region objected to the proposals.

However, not all people were opposed to the plans, with some even classifying opposition as a type of “hate crime.”

Children, according to Mr. and Mrs. Doherty, “require schooling and a stable way of life where they may have friends and integrate with the community.”

Yvonne Bennett-Gleig, headteacher of Summerhill primary school in Maghull, said the Dohertys’ daughter has moved on “leaps and bounds” since attending the school, speaking at an appeal meeting held at Bootle Town Hall today (Tuesday).

“Since starting in October 2020, she has settled in well and made academic and social progress,” Ms Bennett-Gleig said.

“She has perfect attendance, is always neat and tidy, and is a joy to be around at school.”

Ms Bennett-Gleig also informed the meeting that before starting school, the kid had no literacy or numeracy skills, but has since learned to read and write.

Some people of the local community also spoke out in favor of the pitch’s approval at the meeting, which is still going on at the time of writing.

Sefton Council previously explained why the proposal was turned down.

Because the application site is not an assigned traveller site and the council can demonstrate an adequate supply of traveller pitches, the proposed development, according to the council, violates various rules of the local plan.

While the local government agreed that the best interests of the children were a significant issue, officers argued that it should not be the sole justification for granting a planning application or that it should take precedence over other factors.

The recent appeal hearing continues with an outcome expected in the near. “The summary has come to an end.”


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