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Old Windsor travellers' site inquiry: 'Enforcement notice is ridiculous'

Old Windsor travellers' site inquiry: 'Enforcement notice is ridiculous'

Francis Batt

Old Windsor travellers' site inquiry:  'Enforcement notice is ridiculous'

An inquiry into plans for a travellers' site in Old Windsor started today.

The public battle between landowner Fred Sines and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead got off to an irritable start this morning.

Residents from the village turned up in force at Windsor Racecourse where a four-day public inquiry began into the borough's refusal to allow Fred Sines to put five traveller homes on land at Newtonside Orchard in Burfield Road (pictured).

Government appeals inspector Clive Kirkbride was also due to consider an enforcement order issued by the Royal Borough against Maurice Sines, calling for the removal of caravans, mobile homes, motor homes and tents already on the site.

Residents watched exasperated as the first morning of the inquiry got bogged down in arguments between Alan Masters representing Mr Sines, and Gary Grant for the Royal Borough.

Mr Masters described the enforcement notice as 'ridiculous', claiming that it inaccurately described the site as scrubland and was invalid because it had not been distributed to people who actually lived on the site.

He described it as an 'appallingly drafted document'.

But Mr Grant accused Mr Masters of 'pettifogging' objections and said that any problems with the document could easily be sorted out.

After two hours of argument the inquiry was suspended so that the two sides could get together to work out a solution.

The future of the site had become one of the most controversial issues affecting Old Windsor. Although the inspector Mr Kirkbride will prepare a full report, the final decision on the site's future will rest with the Secretary of State.

The inquiry is due to continue tomorrow.

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