SEVERAL residents of Abthorpe have spoken out in defence of a travelling family after an anonymous message was pinned to the village notice urging opposition to their plans for a permanent home.
In the middle of August planning notices went up around Mini Farm on the Blakesley Road advertising a planning application to make a temporary travellers’ site permanent.
The family who have lived on the site since 2009 want the permission to avoid the threat of being moved on while they raise children.
The notice, which some have claimed is racist, urges the citizens of Abthorpe to act now in order prevent the site becoming permanent and ends: “Do your bit canvass for some action to prevent this abuse of the planning system.”
Keith Fenwick, chairman of Abthorpe Parish Council has added his own notice with background to the application and to advertise the council’s meeting on Monday, September 5 where local people can give their opinions before the council forms its comments on the application for South Northants Council’s planning committee. Mr Fenwick ends his notice by saying anyone can write to SNC about the application and adds: “I suggest that these will be more favourably considered if based on fact, not fear or supposition.
“Unlike the writer of the adjacent, I am not going to remain anonymous.”
John Riches, the Advertiser’s village correspondent said he was upset by the implications of the anonymous notice and defended the family by saying: “They are a delight, quiet and shy but hard working taxpayers who are very friendly.”
Rachel Charles added her support and said councils are not providing permanent sites for travellers and added: “Just like the rest of us, they are entitled to a safe and sanitary place to live. And most of us have always lived without the constant anxiety of being moved.”