Council to move travellers

TRAVELLERS who set up camp on important wildlife sites are to be evicted.

TRAVELLERS who set up camp on important wildlife sites are to be evicted.

The County Court in Ipswich has given Suffolk Coastal District Council the go-ahead to repossess land occupied by two groups of travellers.

Three weeks ago a large party of travellers with around 40 vehicles moved on to a particularly sensitive part of Sutton Heath, while four family groups set up camp at Upper Hollesley Common.

Rae Leighton, a member of the council's cabinet, said: “I am delighted that the courts have recognised the strength of our case and given us the backing by granting the council Possession Orders for both sites.

“Sutton Heath and Upper Hollesley Common are two of our district's most important areas for wildlife and as it is now the nesting season this was a particularly sensitive time.

“Sutton Heath and Hollesley Common are also key parts of the coast and heaths area that is officially an area of outstanding natural beauty. The travellers' presence in these areas has been putting at risk our natural environment.

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“I had publicly asked both these groups to show their commitment to the environment by moving. However this reasonable request has been ignored, and thanks to the speedy support of our colleagues at the county council, we have been able to successfully gain the legal backing that means we can evict them.”

Suffolk County Council responded rapidly to a request for welfare audits for both camps to be carried out so educational, health and social needs could be considered by the court.

The groups have until June 9 to move.