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Church Gresley travellers set for court date

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 20, 2014

By Rob Smyth

  • Church Gresley traveller site

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COUNCIL chiefs have served eviction notices on travellers who have twice set up illegal encampments in South Derbyhire only yards apart.

South Derbyshire District Council confirmed to the Mail that the group, who have set up camp on land off Common Road, Church Gresley, have been handed a court summons after ignoring a direction order telling them to leave the site.

The travellers have now been camped on the council-owned landfor more than a week – after moving on to the site a matter of days after leaving a similar encampment less than 250 yards away on Robin Hood Place.

This comes as another group of travellers remain encamped on the former Bargates site, off High Street, in Burton.

A spokesman for South Derbyshire District Council said: "Our officers have visited the group to carry out a statutory welfare check and issue them with a direction order to leave the site.

"As they have not complied with the order they have been served with a summons to appear before Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court later this week when we will be seeking notice of possession."

The site is home to several caravans and a number of vehicles.

Nigel Lidsey, Derby South section inspector, told the Mail that his officers were aware of the travellers site, but 'no issues' had been reported to Derbyshire Police.

This is not the first time that travellers have set up camp at the site.

In 2013, one caravan and one vehicle moved on to the land.

In 2011, itinerants set up camp and the site was home to five caravans and a number of other vehicles.

Witnesses saw travellers setting fire to trees and copper wire and using a road near the site as a toilet.

Major changes were made to the way the services in South Derbyshire dealt with illegal traveller sites after more than 40 incidents were reported in just one year back in 2010.

This resulted in council chiefs spending cash to improve security at venues across the area.

Police chiefs also stepped up operations to crackdown on the problem after complaints from the public.

East Staffordshire Borough Council look set to follow counterparts in South Derbyshire by getting set to issue the travellers in Burton with a court summons.

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