A group of Travellers today left a Clacton children’s playing field just one hour before a court order requiring them to do so expired.
The six caravans were off the site in Knox Road by around 11am – leaving a trail of rubbish and human excrement to be cleared away behind them.
The group had been seen by the Essex Countywide Traveller Unit (ECTU) yesterday when they were served with the order, which gave them 24 hours to vacate the site.
Paul Honeywood, TDC’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said that whatever people may think about the issue the Council needs to follow the correct legal processes to gain back possession of publicly-owned land.
“We are a member of the ECTU – a specialist unit run by Essex County Council to manage unauthorised encampments – and who we make aware of any incursions,” he said.
“It is not possible for TDC to simply evict a group as soon as they arrive, however much we or our residents may wish us to do so – it is not as easy as that.
“They have left a trail of mess – tyres, rubbish, human excrement and other materials – which the Council will have to clear at the tax payers’ expense,” he added.
TDC this morning received a report that Traveller vehicles had moved onto the Tesco site at Brook Park Retail Park and that information is being followed up.
However, it will be down to the individual landowner to take the required action to move the group on.
A group of a dozen or so Traveller caravans are still occupying land alongside the railway line at Vista Road Playing Field in Clacton, which is also owned by TDC.
They are being served with a Direction to Leave today to get the removal process under way.