Battle of ‘illegal’ gypsy camp at Harting may be over

Mobile home with police escort, negotiating the narrow lanes of South Harting as it makes it way to Three Cornered Piece last year .

Mobile home with police escort, negotiating the narrow lanes of South Harting as it makes it way to Three Cornered Piece last year .

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THE battle of the ‘illegal’ gypsy encampment, Three Cornered Piece at East Harting may finally have ended.

Christopher and Jimmy Searle who own the site are believed to have moved off.

They were ordered to remove their caravans from the site by August 16.

The remaining added developments should be removed by September 16.

It could signal the end of a battle which has been raging for some three years and erupted again in June with a retrospective plan to change the use of the land to a traveller site.

Portsmouth County Court ruled earlier this year the Searles were in breach of an injunction granted in 2010, to stop any further works on the land and were ordered to leave.

The district council took enforcement action demanding the removal of the mobile homes in 2009.

The gypsy family appealed and their case was called in by local government secretary Eric Pickles. The resulting High Court battle rejected the gypsy’s appeal despite a planning inspector recommending Mr Pickles to grant temporary three-year planning permission.