Colchester: Court application to remove group of travellers from Colchester United FC’s stadium

Travellers parked at Colchester Community Stadium

Travellers parked at Colchester Community Stadium - Credit: Archant

A court application to remove an unauthorised traveller encampment from the home of Colchester United FC is to be heard.

The unknown group, which moved into the Community Stadium in Colchester on Sunday, September 21, was made the subject of a summons after failing to follow the direction to leave served by the Essex Countywide Travellers Unit last week.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court is scheduled to hear the application to vacate today under Section 77 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

The traveller group, made up of six caravans, is accused of breaking through fencing to access an area of grassland behind the artificial pitches on land owned by Colchester Borough Council.

Tim Waddington, who is the general manager at Colchester United FC, which leases the land from the council, said he found the situation “astonishing”.

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“Having been in dialogue with the police and council it seems there is nothing we can do ourselves and we must wait for the legal processes to take effect,” he added. “It’s unacceptable and incredibly frustrating to all of us both as a local business and as local residents. The situation is already having an impact on our business and clearly we will have to take more extreme measures to secure our land.”

A Colchester Borough Council spokesman said: “We have been made aware that there is an unauthorised travellers encampment in north Colchester, on land owned by Colchester Borough Council.”

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“We reported this to the ECTU, and a court summons has been ordered and a court date has been set for Tuesday, September 30, 2014,” the spokesman added.

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