A group of travellers on a site in Thatcham have been told they have until April to leave after a ruling at the High Court.

It comes after attempts to gain permission for a traveller pitch near Thatcham were rejected in November.

Workmen began "unauthorised building work" at Lawrences Lane in August, prompting West Berkshire Council to issue a stop order.

Official planning permission was then submitted by the site owners for seven traveller pitches comprising of seven static caravans, seven day rooms, seven touring caravans and associated works.

READ MORE: Lawrences Lane traveller site plans rejected

Lawrence Lane is a narrow, unclassified road connecting Thatcham and Cold Ash, which has been earmarked locally as a cycle and rambling path.

On Wednesday, December 8, West Berkshire Council was granted a continuation of the interim injunction preventing any further unauthorised development to remain in place at Lawrences Lane.

No residential occupation will be permitted, beyond that which was agreed in the previous order (i.e. five plots are occupied). No further portable structures etc. can be brought onto the land in breach of planning control

No waste / hardcore / similar material can be brought onto the land in breach of planning control and no further works can be undertaken at the site in breach of planning controls.

Councillor Richard Somner, executive member for planning, transport and countryside at West Berkshire Council, said: “Following on from the previous injunction set in place since the summer, this order is the next big step to ensure that no further unauthorised planning development will take place on the land at Lawrences Lane. If the defendants are not successful at appeal, it will also secure the termination of residential occupation of the land within 2 months of the closure of the appeal.

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“The Council’s actions to date have successfully limited the extent and impact of the unauthorised development at the site such as no more day rooms, no more hardstanding’s and stopping further caravans on site.

“Although the matter hasn’t been concluded, the Council has moved swiftly. The planning appeal process will now guide the next steps, the timescales of which will be informed by the Planning Inspectorate.”

The Council will continue to monitor activity at the site with regard to the new requirements set out by the Court.

The Court of Appeal upheld the High Court's ruling and the enforcement notice, meaning the group will have to vacate the site by April 8 if they have failed to submit an appeal against the refusal of the planning application by February 8, 2022.