Travellers set up camp near Woodbridge

TRAVELLERS have set up two camps near Woodbridge after they breached security measures.They have moved onto Sutton Heath in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and they are close to footpaths which are used daily by hundreds of people.

TRAVELLERS have set up two camps near Woodbridge after they breached security measures.

They have moved onto Sutton Heath in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and they are close to footpaths which are used daily by hundreds of people.

Travellers moved to the same site in October 1999 and since then deep ditches have been dug to prevent them gaining access.

But they laid tree branches and soil in part of a ditch next to a Byway and set up a track into an area of woodland where they brought their assortment of vehicles. They can be seen from the road between Woodbridge and Sutton.


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A dog walker from Woodbridge said yesterday: "It seems the ditches are not working and there is a circus van there, burger bar van, caravans and light vans coming and going over this filled-in ditch."

He reported to the district council last weekend that travellers had moved onto Sutton Heath.

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A spokesman for the Suffolk Coastal District Council said: "We are aware that the travellers have moved onto Sutton Heath and we have requested that social audits be carried out by the county council before we can then reach a conclusion as to whether they should be moved on or not.

"We had put in place all the commonly accepted obstacles to prevent entry, but the ditches were flattened and filled in which enabled access to be gained."

Travellers have also set up camp outside the security fencing at the end of the runway at Woodbridge Airfield. There they have gained access over a ditch by filling it with tyres, mattresses and soil and set up a track. They can be seen from the road leading to Hollesley.

A Suffolk police spokeswoman said: "We are monitoring the situation and we will continue to do that. They are on privately-owned sites at the moment and it is up to the private landowners to take civil action.

"We will keep abreast of the situation and we have to bear in mind the rights of the travellers."

They have been by the airfield before and they have been complaints previously about noise and parties. In 1995 up to 50 police wearing protective clothing broke up a disturbance that generated more than 200 complaints. There was a three-day party to mark the end of a 30-month illegal occupation of the site. A year later a police stopped a free party taking place.

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