Blockades in Kesgrave amid rumours of new travellers arriving

Cars block land at Through Jollys, Grange Farm

Cars block land at Through Jollys, Grange Farm - Credit: Archant

People living in the Grange Farm area of Kesgrave have used cars to blockade any open pieces of land amid rumours up to 100 travellers are heading towards the area.

The travellers in Grange Farm, Kesgrave

The travellers in Grange Farm, Kesgrave - Credit: Archant

A group of travellers has been camped on green space between Cardew Drift and the Farmhouse Pub in Grange Farm since mid-June. Court action to evict them was adjourned this week.

But tonight residents in the area reacted to unconfirmed rumours that up to 100 travellers could be heading to the area for a christening on Friday morning.

They used cars to block entry to any open pieces of land, including the Millennium Field.

A Facebook group - Kesgrave Traveller Awareness - has been set up and already has more than 2,000 members. Pictures posted on its page show a number of different areas made inaccessible by residents’ vehicles. The Millennium Field is blocked by what appears to be farm machinery.

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Police have said they have responded to “reports of community tension” and have sent a “small police presence” close to the site of the travellers.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “The residents have blocked the Millennium Field, they’ve blocked Fentons Way, and access to the woodland.”

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Another resident said this evening: “As far as I am concerned it’s a good idea. I personally don’t want travellers living 200 yards away from me.

“They’ve made a mess of the other site and prevented the local community from using that green space.”

It is the latest development in the saga of the Kesgrave travellers.

Suffolk Coastal District Council had pursued legal action to move the group currently living near Cardew Drift, resulting in the matter being brought before magistrates in Ipswich earlier this week.

But the matter was adjourned to next week after a new Section 77 notice to evict them from the site had to be lodged.

It is believed the original notice only covered the original group which reportedly arrived on Monday, June 15, not the additional travellers which arrived a week later.

Around 10 caravans and 20 vehicles are currently camped on the land, which is owned by Suffolk Coastal District Council.

A new date of Tuesday, July 14 has been set for the matter to be brought before magistrates again.

However, travellers occupying the site insisted earlier this week they were unable to leave the site at the present as one of them remained in Ipswich Hospital.

One of the group, Frank Delaney, said: “Our father is in hospital with a very serious operation, a blocked artery in the neck – he could have died.”

Another member of the group had also required hospital treatment, believed to be for an ingrowing toenail, but it is thought they have since been released.

Despite the prospect of further legal action, the travellers maintained that they were unable to leave.

Mr Delaney added: “It is what it is. We cannot leave here until we get it sorted.

“We don’t want to cause any hassle and we keep the place tidy and clean.”

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “There is a small police presence near to an unauthorised traveller encampment on Grange Farm, Kesgrave this evening following reports of community tension.

“No crime or disorder has been reported and police will continue to monitor the area.”

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