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Travellers move on to seafront site

PUBLISHED: 11:45 19 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 March 2010

TRAVELLERS have set up camp illegally on part of a 17-acre seafront site which is awaiting redevelopment with a multi-million pound tourist attraction.

TRAVELLERS have set up camp illegally on part of a 17-acre seafront site which is awaiting redevelopment with a multi-million pound tourist attraction.

The land in Manor Terrace, Felixstowe, is opposite homes and householders had feared for sometime that it would be targeted for an encampment.

One resident said: "It was not entirely unexpected – nothing has been done to make this piece of land secure and it was only a matter of time before a group of travellers found it and set up home.

"They have been very quiet and not caused us any trouble. They seem to be off working somewhere during the day.

"I can't say we all want to look out onto a scruffy travellers' site, but then that piece of land has been an eyesore for 15 years and the council have done little about it, so it's no worse really.

"We just all hope that the council moves pretty quickly when they are gone and clears up any rubbish and mess they leave behind."

About 30 vehicles – caravans, trucks and cars – are parked on the site. They arrived on Friday and the travellers are understood to be carrying out labouring work in the area.

Suffolk Coastal council confirmed that it owns the strip of land between Manor Terrace and the sea wall.

A spokesman said: "The council has started the procedures that will force the travellers off the site. Clearly we hope that this will be as soon as the law permits."

The land is part of the south seafront, which includes Wireless Green off Langer Road, land in Orford Road and the Herman de Stern building. The council is meeting two potential developers to decide which should take part in a joint venture to create a maritime attraction on the land.

Part of the site off Langer Road was used regularly by travellers but has been secured with height barriers to stop caravans and metal gates to stop cars.

The council has also taken action to prevent encampments on recreation land around the resort, including Eastward Ho, where earth mounds and fences have been placed, and open space in Grange Farm Avenue, now fenced off.

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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