More travellers arrive at village site
MORE travellers have been arriving to set up camp on a north Suffolk common as council officers prepare to go to court in a bid to evict them.For the second time in a few months travellers have camped on Ilketshall St Andrew Common, between Halesworth and Bungay.
By David Lennard
MORE travellers have been arriving to set up camp on a north Suffolk common as council officers prepare to go to court in a bid to evict them.
For the second time in a few months travellers have camped on Ilketshall St Andrew Common, between Halesworth and Bungay.
In April this year the parish council was involved in a costly process to move a group of travellers from the common, close to the village hall.
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When at least 15 caravans returned earlier this month, Waveney District Council began the legal process to force the families camping there to move on.
A council spokesman said officers believed the travellers were involved in an “unlawful encampment” and were beginning the complicated legal process necessary to evict them.
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In the past few days even more travellers have been arriving to set up camp.
One local resident, who asked not to be named, said: “There are more than 20 caravans on the common together with an assortment of lorries, vans and cars.
“The generators they are using are on 24 hours a day and the dogs bark nearly all day and night.
“We thought they would go when the district council said it was taking legal action but we have more than ever now.”
District council officers and representatives of other local authority agencies, including social services, have to complete a detailed report in order to get a court order to evict travellers.
It is believed officers will be seeking a court order today or tomorrow and if they are successful will serve it on the travelling families.
Yesterday a group of travellers refused to discuss their situation apart from saying that they were doing no harm and would only leave when they were “good and ready”.
Earlier this year an attempt was made by at least one local resident to construct a deep ditch round the common to prevent travellers gaining access but this had to be stopped for legal reasons.
Members of Ilketshall St Andrew parish council said they could not afford to go to court again in a bid to get an order forcing the travellers to move and it was not the way that their limited funds should be spent.
“We have had this same situation twice so far this year and what is to stop it happening again.
“Getting a court order to move the travellers on works in the short term but something has to be done or we will just keep going round and round in circles,” said the local resident who said villagers were becoming increasingly frustrated.
Suffolk police have been monitoring the situation at Ilketshall St Andrew Common and were also liaising with officials from Waveney District Council.