Fresh efforts to move travellers on

TRAVELLERS were today camped on seafront site at Felixstowe again – just a week after residents were glad to see the back of them.Council officials were making fresh efforts to evict the illegal encampment but feared it could again be several days before the land is vacated.

By Richard Cornwell

TRAVELLERS were today camped on seafront site at Felixstowe again – just a week after residents were glad to see the back of them.

Council officials were making fresh efforts to evict the illegal encampment but feared it could again be several days before the land is vacated.

David Smith, cabinet member for Suffolk Coastal's Felixstowe south seafront land development project, said the council was trying to check if the travellers were some of the same people as last week or a different group.


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"If they are the same people, it may short-circuit our efforts to move them on, but if not we will have to go through the same processes all over again," he said.

"The council cannot simply remove these travellers, we have to go through a thorough process of welfare checks and other administrative and legal processes before a notice of eviction can take place."

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He hoped the travellers would move on quickly and there would be no need for costly legal action.

The latest encampment is of five mobile homes plus assorted vehicles and is camped on part of the 17-acre south seafront development site opposite homes in Manor Terrace.

The previous group camped on the same site for a few days but then moved to Wireless Green and expanded to about 20 caravans plus vehicles. The council has only just completed the clear-up operation.

The new travellers said they were working in the area and would not be stopping long as they liked to keep moving to where there was work available.

"We are not doing any harm. It's an unused piece of land and we are not causing any damage. It's nice being near the sea," said one woman, who declined to be named.

Residents said they had not expected to see travellers again so soon but understood the council was dealing with the issue.

The site is clearly marked private but is not fenced off completely because of the need for access to the floodgate nearby. After an encampment a year ago the council created ditches on the land to try to stop travellers getting on to it again.

The council is working with Bloor Homes to develop the site – which stretches from the Herman de Stern to Manor End – and a planning application is expected soon.

The scheme will include 209 homes with sea views, expected to make the developers a huge profit, with the council receiving in return some gardens, children's play area, public art, beach café, wooden galleon and ampitheatre.

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