Leicester

Groby villagers issue shares for traveller land

A Leicestershire community is trying to buy a piece of land they fear could be used as a permanent traveller site.

Some residents of Groby are appealing for people to help buy 500 shares at £200 each to purchase the 4.1-acre field near the A50.

Campaigners claim the land, which is to be auctioned on 20 April, had previously been left strewn with litter after caravans were parked there.

But local travellers said such a move would just lead to more illegal sites.

Resident Bob McQuillin felt the village had been forced to act, saying: "I think it may be extreme measures but that is because this land is being eroded on a daily basis by all sorts of people and I think we have to stand up now and say 'enough is enough'.

"People have been making pledges to buy these shares and I don't know if we will get enough but we have to make a stand."

'No choice'

Tracey Nedick, who chairs the local gypsy council, could not confirm whether anyone from the traveller community was trying to buy the land.

But she said she disagreed with villagers buying it just to block any development.

"I think this is wrong. They are basically denying people somewhere to live.

"There are a lot of people in the gypsy-traveller community who have no choice but to pull over to the side of the road and this is when they get into trouble with the police."

Land in the Groby area has been the focus of disputes over traveller sites for some years.

Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council recently issued a stop notice after residents complained about an asphalt area being laid in another field.

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