Complaints as travellers' mess worsens

LONG-suffering residents have warned they are ''fed up to the back teeth'' with the eyesore in their village caused by an illegal camp of travellers.For many years villagers in Melton, near Woodbridge, have complained that the landscape in Saddlemaker's Lane has been blighted by the camp.

By Richard Smith

LONG-suffering residents have warned they are ''fed up to the back teeth'' with the eyesore in their village caused by an illegal camp of travellers.

For many years villagers in Melton, near Woodbridge, have complained that the landscape in Saddlemaker's Lane has been blighted by the camp.

But in recent weeks they claim the situation has worsened with more burnt-out vehicles being left on the land and complaints about the rubbish on the site.


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Villagers did consider clubbing together to buy the privately-owned land from the Dutch owner but there was not enough financial support for this proposition. Now negotiations are taking place for an individual to buy the land and keep it clear of travellers.

Penny Warburg, Melton's district councillor, said: ''We are very concerned about this site. Not surprisingly, Melton is fed up to the back teeth with the mess. It is very unsightly and it has got worse and worse.

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''We have been trying to find a buyer and I think if the deal does not go through we will have to start again and look at other ways of moving them.''

She said the land had no agricultural value and it was not in the village envelope, but the villagers would be able to find a use for it if the land came back to them.

Trevor Brundle, Woodbridge police's sector commander, said: ''At the current time there seem to be very few policing problems connected with the site.''

Suffolk Coastal District Council has spent thousands of pounds in making three evictions in recent years and the council's solicitor is now trying to assist in negotiations for the land to be sold.

The council is in a difficult position because the land is privately-owned and this limits their powers. Officers are concerned that if the council removes vehicles this will lead to more vehicles being dumped there.

Mike Eaton, head of housing, said: ''We are trying to facilitate that purchase and then the issue of people illegally parking on that land can be more properly addressed.''

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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