Sudbury: Complaints after travellers set up opposite playground

POLICE have received complaints from residents of a quiet housing development on the outskirts of Sudbury after travellers moved on to a piece of vacant land opposite a children’s playground.

For the past week about 12 vehicles, including six caravans, have been parked on land on Aubrey Drive, which is thought to be owned by Bovis Homes. A meeting is due to take place today to decide what action can be taken to move the travellers on.

A man who lives opposite the site, who did not want to be named, said residents were being kept awake by noisy generators, loud music and cars screeching up and down the normally quiet road.

“A couple of people have their houses for sale down this road and they don’t stand a chance of selling with this on the doorstep,” he said. “There is a general feeling of unease and it is noticeable that children have not been out using the playground since they arrived.”

One of the travellers said local residents had not troubled them since they had set up camp. Another said she had “no idea” when the group would be moving on, but added that she was on a waiting list for a place at an official campsite in Essex.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said: “We have had several complaints from residents, mainly about vehicles, but we have only had one confirmed incident and no recorded offences in relation to the encampment.”

She said police had stepped up patrols because of the complaints, adding: “We are putting in measures to try to keep everyone happy and we will be carrying out a leaflet drop in the area which answers several frequently asked questions about unauthorised encampments.”

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A spokesman for Babergh District Council said it was aware of the traveller encampment.

The authority is part of a multi-agency group, which looks at unauthorised traveller encampments as they arise.

The group, which also includes representatives from Suffolk County Council, the police and the county’s gipsy and traveller liaison officer, follows a Suffolk protocol for managing unauthorised encampments.

Yesterday, the spokesman said: “At the moment, there is case conference scheduled for tomorrow, which is due to look at the next course of action. The multi-agency partnership has requested a Land Registry search to confirm ownership.”

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