Bury St Edmunds: Borough action forces illegal travellers out of car parks
10:00 22 February 2014
A borough council’s measures to stop illegal traveller sites pitching up in a town’s car parks appear to be working after a small group left just days after arriving.
The small band of caravans pitched in the St Andrews Street car park in Bury St Edmunds earlier this week, prompting fears of a similar saga to that which gripped the town last year.
The same family had to be repeatedly moved from car parks and open areas around Bury, eventually being temporarily housed at a site near the railway bridge off Orttewell Road, on the Great Barton side of the boundary with Moreton Hall.
However, St Edmundsbury Borough Council has since taken out an injunction preventing any travellers from illegally camping on council-owned car parks or on open spaces on Moreton Hall.
Once the travellers in the St Andrews Street car park were informed of this injunction, they made plans to leave, and had gone from the town by yesterday morning.
Anne Gower, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “I’m very pleased at the way it’s worked out, as we haven’t had to take legal enforcement action.
“We have to protect these car parks and other spaces. This is the first test and it’s worked out well.
“I was quite prepared, if there was a breach of the pre-emptive injunction, to enforce at a very high level and send a message out if necessary.”
The group of travellers were French, and had previously been staying at locations for a short period of time.
Ms Gower added: “I think they made their intentions quite clear, that they were staying a few days, but unfortunately sometimes people don’t stick to their word.”