Travellers ordered to leave Chesterfield site within 24 hours

Travellers who have set up camp at a Chesterfield site have been given 24 hours to leave.

Monday, 5th August 2019, 4:07 pm
The Travellers currently in Chesterfield.

The Travellers are understood to have descended on the old car park at Walton Hospital on Whitecotes Lane on Friday.

A spokesperson for Chesterfield Borough Council said: "This land is privately owned and the council has no enforcement powers over this area.

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The Travellers currently in Chesterfield.

"If you see any anti-social behaviour, report to the police on the non-emergency number, 101."

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins added: "I have spoken to Derbyshire police about the new unauthorised Traveller encampment on land next to Walton Hospital.

"It is owned by Homes England and I understand that notice to vacate within 24 hours has been served.

"I will continue to pursue."

It is also understood that Walton Hospital is employing additional security from 6pm until 8am each day until the Travellers have gone

Across Chesterfield borough last year, more than £10,000 of taxpayers' cash was spent on dealing with illegal Gypsy and Traveller camps.

Figures obtained by the Derbyshire Times under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) show the borough council shelled out £10,838.34 after Gypsies and Travellers illicitly set up camp in seven separate locations during 2018.

A borough council spokesperson told the Derbyshire Times: "In the last year, the council spent more than £10,000 in removing Gypsies and Travellers from illegal sites.

"This is money paid in council tax by our residents and, given that the council has lost more than half the funding it receives from the Government since 2010, this could be better spent elsewhere on the services we provide.

"We work closely with the police and other agencies and will continue to react quickly when faced with illegal encampments to make sure they are moved on as quickly as possible and so our facilities can remain open to the public."

The borough council has identified sites for two permanent Gypsy and Traveller pitches as part of its latest Local Plan.

One of these is on land to the rear of Mayfields at Hady Lane, Hady.

Locations of illegal Gypsy and Traveller camps in the Chesterfield area last year and how much it cost to deal with them

Rother Vale - £2,410 spent on clearing waste from the site and £316.06 spent on officer time

Land north of the A619 at Lowgates - £1,750 spent on clearing waste from the site, £226 spent on court fees and £1,495.53 spent on officer time

Queen's Park North car park - £640 spent on clearing waste from the site, £226 spent on court fees and £873.59 spent on officer time

Queen's Park North car park - £690 spent on clearing waste from the site and £281.82 spent on officer time

Queen's Park North car park - £380 spent on clearing waste from the site and £406.31 spent on officer time

Queen's Park Sports Centre - £410 spent on clearing waste from the site and £197.98 spent on officer time

Queen's Park Sports Centre - £280 spent on clearing waste from the site and £225.05 spent on officer time