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The owner's away so the travellers stay

PUBLISHED: 13:46 19 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:21 03 March 2010

TRAVELLERS are today still camped on private land in a Suffolk village – but with the landlord abroad it could be some while before they are ordered to move on.

TRAVELLERS are today still camped on private land in a Suffolk village – but with the landlord abroad it could be some while before they are ordered to move on.

Ten caravans arrived at the Brantham industrial estate, off Factory Lane, on Tuesday afternoon and set up on a car park belonging to the Italian owned company Moplefan.

"We thought the land was vacant. We're not here to cause any trouble," said group member James Ford, 25.

The travellers have been in Suffolk for the last couple of days but have been moved on from a number of sites before settling on the concrete car park, he said.

"We went to Felixstowe first but got moved after about two hours. Then we went to the West Meadows travellers' site but it was full. We stopped in the Nacton industrial estate but the police moved us off after 24 hours. Obviously we are on private land now but we can't stay in lay-bys all the time."

Mr Ford, from Northamptonshire, described himself as a Romany Gipsy and said he had spent most of his life on the road. He has family living on the 30-plot travellers' site in Ipswich.

"I was brought up to live like this. I don't know any other way. I love the life and meeting different people but it is a pain when we keep getting moved on.

"There aren't enough spaces in this area that's why we have got to be here. I'd like to see a few more temporary sites for us."

Packing film manufacturers Moplefan stopped production at the end of last year and a spokesman said there were very few people left on site.

"I've asked the travellers politely to move and we will have to wait and see what happens. There're okay at the moment," he said.

Resident Helen Wade, 21, of Factory Lane, Brantham, said that she had no problems with the travellers moving in close to her home.

"I didn't even know they were there so obviously they have been no problem"

Meanwhile, Peter Glover, of Babergh District Council, said that an officer would be going to the site to speak to the travellers.

"They are trespassing on private land but we have not received any complaints so far. We just want to talk to them and the landlord.

"There are legal powers [for eviction] but they are very rarely invoked because travellers move around so quickly."

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