Derbyshire Dales council seeks eviction order for Bakewell Travellers camp

Derbyshire Dales District Council has begun the process of evicting an encampment of Travellers in Bakewell, as the constituency’s MP called for more action on an issue which has dogged the authority for years.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 4:59 pm

The Travellers are believed to entered the land at the Agricultural Business Centre, on Agricultural Way, some time on Tuesday, April 12.

A council spokesperson said: “Our Environmental Health staff visited the encampment that afternoon and confirmed that the site consisted of 11 caravans, with the occupants not previously known to the council.

“Officers have compiled their initial reports and are now working with the council’s legal team to progress the eviction process through the courts.”

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Travellers have regularly tried to pitch up at Bakewell's Agricultural Business Centre.

Derbyshire Dales MP Sarah Dines said that she had received reports of activity at the site which soon attracted police attention.

She said: “I am urging the district council to take swift action to address this illegal encampment.

“I have also urged the district council to progress at speed with their plans to find an alternative and permanent traveller site in Derbyshire Dales, as they are required to in law. To not have a permanent site, we are not only failing residents, but also the Traveller community.”

The council says that the latter point is less relevant in this case, as the encampment may not be eligible for a permanent site – although there is a separate issue over authorised stopping sites for Travellers passing through.

The district spokesperson said: “It is worth noting that this is an unauthorised encampment and is not one that would be accommodated on a permanent site.

“The council will not be looking to move this encampment to another site as it does not owe a homelessness duty to the occupants. It will instead simply be recovering possession of the land they are currently occupying.”

Ms Dines said Government funding is currently on offer to councils for the provision of both transit and permanent sites, and that she had written to the council encouraging it to apply.

A report on the matter is to be considered by the council at a meeting on Wednesday, April 27.