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Travellers quit site in Suffolk resort

PUBLISHED: 13:00 20 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 March 2010

RESIDENTS were today urged to make it unattractive for travellers to camp illegally in Felixstowe - by not employing them to do any work.

The group of travellers camped opposite homes in Manor Terrace left overnight before council chiefs could serve them with an eviction order.

RESIDENTS were today urged to make it unattractive for travellers to camp illegally in Felixstowe – by not employing them to do any work.

The group of travellers camped opposite homes in Manor Terrace left overnight before council chiefs could serve them with an eviction order.

About 30 vehicles – caravans, trucks and cars – had parked on the site, much to the anger and frustration of residents.

They arrived last Friday and the owners were carrying out labouring work in the area.

The site between the road and the sea wall, part of 17 acres earmarked for a multi-million tourist attraction, is owned by Suffolk Coastal council, which started to take legal action to remove the group.

Councillor David Smith, chairman of the Felixstowe south seafront land sub committee, said the council had to follow the law, and there were a number of legal hurdles to get over before it could evict them, including negotiations with the county council, Suffolk Health, and police.

But he urged residents to make the resort an unattractive place for travellers to visit and to help move them on faster when they do by not hiring them to work.

"I would ask all local residents to play their part. These travellers may well be looking to carry out tarmacing and other works in the area," said Mr Smith.

"I would remind people that there are often well-grounded complaints about the quality of work done by travellers, with many people feeling that they have been conned.

"My advice would be that if your drive or roof needs repairing, or your garden needs tidying, then use the phone book and find an established local company. You'll be helping your local economy and without any jobs to do in the area these travellers will probably move on quicker."

Suffolk Coastal staff yesterday had to take action to clear a trench around the Manor Terrace site that has been filled in with materials produced from the travellers' tarmacing activities.

Householders had feared for sometime that the land would be targeted for an encampment. They said the travellers had not caused any trouble, but now want council environmental health staff to carry out a full clean-up operation.

The council has 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, and also at other parts of the south seafront in Langer Road.

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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