Residents fear gypsy site near Hatton Park would lead to 'invasion' of travellers - The Leamington Observer

Residents fear gypsy site near Hatton Park would lead to 'invasion' of travellers

Leamington Editorial 11th Aug, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016   0

CREATING a permanent gypsy site near Hatton Park would lead to an ‘invasion’ of travellers fear residents.

Land next to Mollington Grove on the estate has been occupied by eight gypsy caravans since Friday (August 7) – and householders claim they have suffered intimidation, loud music, while surrounding fields have been used as a toilet.

Warwick District Council (WDC) officers have served a notice for the gypsies to move, but some are still on the land.

Resident Jonathan Knott said: “The behaviour of the gypsies shows a contempt and complete lack of respect for the local community.

“We have instances of public urination, loud diesel generators operating near law abiding residents homes where children are trying to sleep and being disturbed and intimidated by barking dogs.

“Last week there were families playing with their children on the land – now they are terrified to go there.”

And residents are worried about the council’s plans to create permanent gypsy pitches – as one of the places earmarked for development is at Oaklands Farm next to Hatton Park.

The council is trying to find 31 permanent pitches over the next 15 years – 25 of which need to be confirmed before 2019.

Legally, the authority has an obligation to locate two permanent gypsy and traveller sites as well as one ‘transit’ site.

But locals fear they will end up with more than the planned number of travellers if the proposals go ahead. They say those visiting will set up camp at Hatton Park.

Mr Knott told the Observer: “The council cannot build a gypsy site near to this community as the travellers have now demonstrated they will be a burden to us.

“We have so many nearby fields that any overflow to the planned site will impact us everytime they have friends and family staying.

“A permanent site could attract more travellers and lead to the village green being regularly invaded.”

A WDC spokeswoman said action to move the travellers currently at Hatton Park had started.

She added: “Local councils are required by law to operate a toleration policy in their processes for moving such groups off land they control, and take into account any welfare issues they discover.

“The travellers on the site have already been served with an initial notice to leave and the council’s solicitors are in the process of obtaining a court date to obtain a possession order.”


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