Council insists it's '˜doing all it can' as travellers set up another camp in Chesterfield

Travellers have set up yet another camp in Chesterfield - the fifth in just two weeks.

Wednesday, 12th July 2017, 12:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:44 am
Travellers had set up camp at Storforth Lane before leaving on Monday. Pic: Stacy Pykett
Travellers had set up camp at Storforth Lane before leaving on Monday. Pic: Stacy Pykett

They have moved on to land off Station Road in Hollingwood.

The group is believed to be the same travellers who had previously stayed at sites on Storforth Lane in Hasland and nearby Langer Field Park over the weekend.

Chesterfield Borough Council had served the groups with a summons ordering them to leave the sites before they moved to the privately-owned land at Hollingwood on Monday evening.

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A council spokesman said the authority was aware of the latest developments and was ‘working to locate the landowner’ so that legal action could be taken to remove the travellers.

Their move to Hollingwood comes less than two weeks after a separate group of travellers set up camp in Loundsley Green and then Queen’s Park north car park.

The travellers - who left a trail of mess behind at the Queen’s Park site - were believed to have been from Norway.

News of the fifth travellers’ camp in Chesterfield this month has sparked calls for action from some residents.

Writing on our Facebook page, Joanne Gregory wrote: “Why are these sites not secured? I’m sure if I broke in and set up camp with my caravan I’d be issued with a fine for damages and trespass? We pay enough taxes this should be sorted.”

Stacy Pykett works close to the Storforth Lane site and said: “To have to lock our premises at work for the weekend for security purposes goes to show the poor reputation the travellers have.

“They have left all their rubbish in bin liners in the river that runs through the park and have destroyed most of the public field that is a big part of Hasland community. I do feel there should be stricter policies against setting up camp on premises that travellers illegally break through on to, to help stop this from happening.”

But council leader Tricia Gilby said the council does everything it can within current legal guidelines.

She said: “Whilst I appreciate how frustrating it is for residents who find an illegal encampment disrupting their community, it is not possible to have a banning order for the whole borough, only to remove travellers from individual sites where they are camped.

“We will continue to review provision for travellers in Chesterfield as part of the development of a new Local Plan.”

There is a licensed traveller site at Hady Hill, which Coun Gilby said was ‘well run and respected by the people who use it’.

“The travellers who tend to come in the summer months are more likely to move from area to area rather than settle on one site,” she said.

“Where travellers do use non-licensed sites on council land we always take enforcement action to remove them.”