Travellers ordered to move on from Portman Road car park
PUBLISHED: 17:56 26 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:56 26 June 2020
A group of travellers have been served with an eviction notice to leave an Ipswich car park after ignoring the borough council’s requests to move on.
The unauthorised campers had been served with a notice under Section 77 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to leave the Portman Road B car park by Thursday but failed to acknowledge instructions.
Ipswich Borough Council went to Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Friday afternoon to apply for an eviction order.
The council was first notified of the presence of travellers on the site when two caravans, containing six adults and two children, appeared earlier in the month.
Authorities believe the travellers moved on to Southwold, and then Lowestoft, before returning in larger numbers at the beginning of this week.
Three caravans, a campervan and several towing vehicles remained on the site until Friday, when the encampment moved into an adjacent car park behind the AXA Insurance building.
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Amanda Garnham, cohesion officer for Norfolk and Suffolk County Council Gypsy Roma & Traveller Service, told magistrates the group had been asked about their health and welfare, and that assistance had not been required by NHS healthcare workers for any issues.
The encampment was understood to have been occupied by holidaymakers - with homes elsewhere - who could leave at any time.
Key stakeholders were consulted on whether the group should be tolerated or evicted.
Based on the fact that Ipswich’s car parks are due to become an integral part of revitalising the economy with the easing of lockdown, and that the travellers had shown no intention of moving on, the decision was made to seek eviction.
The council said the travellers were given sufficient notice of the court hearing on Friday but failed to attend and exercise their right to contest the application.
Magistrates heard there had been reports of tension, fighting, and excrement left on the site.
They were satisfied appropriate procedure had been followed and granted the application, giving the group 24 hours to leave or face the removal all vehicles and caravans from the land.