Travellers read the riot act in resort

TRAVELLERS were today told all efforts were being made to evict them after they set up an illegal encampment on Felixstowe's controversial south seafront.

TRAVELLERS were today told all efforts were being made to evict them after they set up an illegal encampment on Felixstowe's controversial south seafront.

It was yet another blow for the council which has spent nearly two decades trying to develop the 17-acre site as the group blew a hole in security put in place after the last bout of trespassing.

But while it will cost the taxpayers to move the travellers on, council chiefs will say that developing the site will at least put an end to the problems.

Six mobile homes illegally entered the council-owned land opposite homes in Manor Terrace on Sunday afternoon and have since been joined by others.

They were swiftly issued with written confirmation that they were trespassing, by Suffolk Coastal's resort staff, and the police were also called to the site to assist and support.

"This is a very unwelcome illegal trespass by a small group of travellers, and we hope and expect that they will move on immediately," said David Smith, cabinet member for the Felixstowe south seafront land development project.

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"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.

"Whilst this course of action is being considered, I would ask that all residents continue to show restraint where these travellers are concerned."

The site in question, part of the proposed south seafront development site, is clearly marked private.

It is not fenced off completely because of the need for access to the floodgate nearby but after the last encampment, the council created ditches on the land to try to stop travellers getting on to it again.

"Let's hope that these travellers respond to our request and move on as quickly as possible, otherwise we will be obliged to take formal action against them", added Mr Smith.

Chairman of the West End of Felixstowe Residents' Association, Doreen Rayner said: "There are a lot more than six vans now. We know the council is dealing with the matter and residents have been told not to give these travellers any work because that will discourage them from staying for very long.

"I don't think they are causing any real problems but I know some people will be concerned."

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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