Travellers invade village common again

By David LennardLEGAL action has been started to evict a large group of travellers who have set up camp on a village common for the second time in five months.

By David Lennard

LEGAL action has been started to evict a large group of travellers who have set up camp on a village common for the second time in five months.

Ilketshall St Andrew Parish Council was involved in a costly legal process to move a group of travellers from the village common in April.

Now the village common has been taken over again by travellers with at least 15 caravans and lorries on the site.

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Waveney District Council has stepped in and has started the legal process in an effort to get the families camping on the common to leave.

“We consider this to be an unlawful encampment and there are so many there that we have had to become involved,” said a council spokesman.

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But the complicated legal process necessary to get a court order forcing the travellers to leave is likely to take about two weeks.

However, the travellers were in defiant mood yesterday and insisted they were entitled to be on the common.

One traveller, who refused to give his name, said: “This is common land and we have every right to be here. We are not doing any harm and will leave when we want to.”

But the spokesman for Waveney District Council insisted although the camp was on common land, the travellers did not have a legal right to be there.

Residents of Ilketshall St Andrew are becoming increasingly fed-up with travellers setting up camp on the common.

One resident even tried to dig a ditch round the common in an attempt to prevent travellers getting on, but was forced to stop for legal reasons.

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “If the travellers stayed for a short while, cleaned up the land and then moved on, it would not be so bad.

“The problem is there is noise all day and night from generators, four-wheeled bikes and dogs barking. Then when the travellers do eventually go, they leave behind a terrible mess that has to be cleared up at public expense.”

Another resident of Ilketshall St Andrew added: “We appreciate that these people have a right to lead the lifestyle of their choice, but they should not create so many problems for the rest of us.”

Suffolk police said they were monitoring the situation and senior officers were liaising with officials from Waveney District Council.

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