‘We are living like rats in a tip’: Last three people remaining at controversial traveller site plea to be rehomed in a council flat

From left to right: Kathleen Murphy, Eileen Cash and Anthony Cash
From left to right: Kathleen Murphy, Eileen Cash and Anthony Cash

The last three travellers ready to leave a controversial travellers site are asking for the council’s help to rehouse them.

After a five year high court battle, which cost nearby homeowners more than £80,000 in legal fees, Eileen Cash, her husband Anthony and her sister Kathleen Murphy have decided they are ready to quit the Hemley Hill site near Princes Risborough.

The decision, which is ahead of the 2015 date that the travellers have been ordered to leave, comes after Mr Cash suffered a number of strokes which have left him needing round the clock care and rehabilitation.

Mrs Cash also says because the site has never been legal there is no mains water or electricity supply.

She said: “We are living like rats in a tip, we are suffering a lot.

“Our caravans are full of rats and have broken windows. We went to the court for planning permission but were refused.

“A lot moved off and the young couples wanted to move on.

“Then when people wanted to move back in - we are travelling people - there were restrictions so people got fed up and moved out.”

The family now want Wycombe District Council to move them into a flat - and nearby homeowners have even helped Eileen, who cannot read or write, send letters to support her application.

Bob Street, of the Hemley Hill Action Group, whose property is close to the travellers site, said: “We’ve been doing our best for her, but I think the council can’t be seen to be doing any favours. I think they will be quite happy to get her into accommodation.”

He added: “There has never been any animosity between us and the travellers, but it’s been a bloody nuisance.

“We were assured when we bought these properties that we would have a life free from development. But when this happened everyone was very shocked.

“We have had so many false dawns, many of us have decided that, rather than go completely bonkers we are just going to assume that it is never going to end.”

A spokesman for Wycombe District Council confirmed that they will work with Eileen to help the family find alternative accommodation.

They also confirmed that all travellers must leave the site by January 2015.