Residents’ fury as hill behind their homes is dug up and caravans move in | UK | News

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Residents are furious as a hill behind their homes is being dug up without warning. Locals have started a petition after a grassy hillside near playing fields and houses was excavated in Nantyglo, Blaenau Gwent, without any apparent planning permission.

More than 600 people have already put their names down on the petition against the work being done on land near Porters Road and Banna Bungalows in the town. Photos reveal a large area of hillside has been levelled and about six caravans and a digger have moved onto the site.

According to land registry documents, there’s a covenant on the land dating back to 1996 that states it can only be used for grazing and no buildings should be put up on it. Blaenau Gwent Council has said they’re aware of the work being done and are looking into it to “determine an appropriate course of action.”

A gofundme page seemingly set up by the people who’ve moved onto the site says their “family and kids need somewhere to live” and that the council isn’t giving them what they need so they’re fixing up their own property.

The petition against the development argues that the work done to the hillside “directly impacts our lives, devalues our properties and infringes on our privacy”. It demands immediate action to stop the work, reports Wales Online.

A local who’s called Banna Bungalows home for 25 years but didn’t want to give their name shared that the work was done super fast, leaving them with big piles of dirt behind their house. They said: “They’ve just completely bulldozed the ground. It happened last weekend, Thursday I think it started.”

“One minute the ground is there and the next it’s gone. I don’t know what is going there but they say they are going to put caravans there. It’s terrible. It’s private property so I suppose we can’t do anything about it. From what I understand they’ve done it without any permissions. I’ve just got a big mound of soil behind my window now.”

Several caravans and diggers have parked up on the land, which has been levelled out. This has caused a big slope of mud and gravel right behind the homes.

The people living there are worried it might cause a landslip.Since the digging started, the mood in the area has been pretty tense. Lots of folks feel scared and don’t really want to talk about what’s happening because they’re afraid of what might happen to them.

They mentioned that the heavy machines began their work on March 27. 

The petition from the residents of Porters Road and Banna Bungalows in Nantyglo states: “As residents of Porters Road and Banna Bungalows in Nantyglo, we are deeply troubled by the unauthorised occupation of land in our community. This issue is not merely a question of legality; it directly impacts our lives, devalues our properties and infringes on our privacy.”

They also mention how property values have dropped, saying: “The encroachment has led to a significant decrease in property values. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), unauthorised occupations can reduce nearby property values by up to 20%. This situation is not only financially damaging but also emotionally distressing as we feel that our right to privacy is being violated.”

The locals demand action: “We are calling for immediate action from local authorities to halt this unauthorised occupation. We believe that everyone has the right to live peacefully without fear of unlawful encroachments on their property or invasion of their privacy.”

They make it clear why they’re fighting: “This petition is personal because it’s about protecting what we hold dear – our homes, the value they represent and most importantly, our peace and privacy. We urge you all – residents, neighbours and concerned citizens – to join us in this fight against unlawful occupation.”

The GoFundMe page set up by the new residents of the site reads: “We need help to live. Our family and kids need somewhere to live to raise. Our family. Council is not providing us with the right needs so we are doing our own property up which we are entitled to do. We are sick of living in needs that is not being provided. un racial people around us.”

A Blaenau Gwent Council spokesperson commented: “We can confirm that we have been made aware of land development on a site in Nantyglo. We are looking into this and all associated issues as a priority in order to determine an appropriate course of action.”

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