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Instant gypsy village irritates neighbors

NORTH CURRY, England, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Residents of a small English village are furious that 19 gypsy families in trailers erected an instant village in a field in hours, The Times of London said.

The group purchased a 5-acre field bordering the town of North Curry in Somerset for $62,000 in April. The town council soon after drew up a "stop notice" to be served to anyone trying to build on the site, but the gypsies, or "travelers" rolled into town Friday evening after the council offices had closed. They dropped a planning application for construction into the night mail slot and proceeded to erect a village by midday Saturday, the newspaper said.

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They laid roads and driveways, dug four septic tanks and erected toilet blocks. Fences were raised to separate the "pitches" and stone platforms built for the trailers.

"People living nearby who enjoyed a green field outlook have had their lives shattered in a few hours," town councilor John Williams said.

Gypsy spokeswoman Maggie Smith-Bendell, 63, said the families planned to stay for up to 10 years.

"There is a ... planning application in for this site, so we haven't broken any laws," she said.

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