Legal proceedings have been initiated by South Gloucestershire Council to secure the removal of over a dozen traveller caravans that remain in a field at The Tumps, near Waterside Drive in Patchway.
A larger number of caravans, believed to be approaching thirty, arrived on the site last Friday (18th August). They are understood to be the same group that was evicted by bailiffs from Forty Acres in Stoke Gifford hours earlier on Friday afternoon.
Part of the convoy had first entered Scott Park in Patchway, but is said to have been enticed to leave by a town council groundsman who arranged for the gate into the field at The Tumps to be unlocked.
The Tumps is a nature area located just 400m from Scott Park that is also in the ownership of Patchway Town council.
The council, which describes the encampment as “unauthorised” on its website, served an eviction notice on the travellers on Monday, requiring them to vacate the site by 2pm on Tuesday (22nd August).
With 16 caravans still on the site on Tuesday afternoon, the remaining travellers were then served with a direction requiring all individuals, caravans and vehicles to vacate the site by Wednesday afternoon.
South Gloucestershire Council has now issued legal proceedings under Section 78 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act and has already liaised with the courts to secure a hearing.
A statement on the town council website adds:
“There is a process that needs to be adhered to, but in the meantime, it is also confirmed there is continued negotiating taking place to encourage the travellers to move voluntarily.”
Asked about the unusual circumstances surrounding the travellers’ arrival on the field at The Tumps, a town council spokesperson said:
“Patchway Town Council was not made aware of the eviction from Stoke Gifford and so was not prepared for the arrival of the travellers in Scott Park on the playing fields. The decision by our groundsman to ask the travellers to move on to The Tumps has been commended by our councillors as it has saved the council money in re-instating sports turf and avoided confrontation with residents who use the park and Patchway Sports & Social Club.”
The spokesperson added:
“An eviction notice has been served and, failing the complying with this, a court case will be held on Tuesday of next week [29th August].”
Photo: Traveller caravans in the field at The Tumps on Sunday 20th August
Update from Patchway Town Council on Friday 25th August
Bristol Magistrates Court has now issued the summons for proceedings for an Order for the removal of the travellers from the Tumps which will be heard by the Court on Tuesday [29th August].
The summons was served yesterday afternoon on all relevant parties. If the encampment has not removed itself by Tuesday’s hearing time, an Order will be sought from the Court and arrangements will be made for it to be executed on the site as swiftly as possible with bailiff and police support. In the meantime, the site will continue to be monitored by the Traveller Unit.