Travellers set up second camp at Market Deeping

Travellers' caravans pictured on Deepings Showground yesterday. SG080817-094mf
Travellers' caravans pictured on Deepings Showground yesterday. SG080817-094mf
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Steps are being taken to “regain possession” of land at Deepings Showground after Travellers moved there on Sunday morning.

The Travellers had previously set up camp with six caravans on South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) owned land at Tattershall Drive, Market Deeping, on Friday, May 19 and were facing legal action from that council to quit.

District councillor Ashley Baxter says his warning about the Travellers switching to the showground on Millfield Road went unheeded by the county authority.

He said: “They could have taken more proactive steps to prevent access to the field (the showground), and they haven’t, so now there will be a significant amount of council time, effort and money spent dealing with the situation.”

Nick Willey, Traveller liaison officer at the county council, told the Spalding Guardian: “Travellers have moved on to land at Deepings Showground and action is being taken to regain possession of the land, following our procedures in dealing with unauthorised encampments.

“Although we had been informed that it was possible the Travellers may move to this site, there was limited action that could have been taken in the short time beforehand, especially as the land is currently leased out.”

District councillor Bob Broughton said: “There was a rather disgusting mess left on the field (Tattershall Drive), including human excrement all over the place, and I asked as a matter of urgency for SKDC to send a bin lorry to clear it up and they did.”

Coun Broughton is now exploring the possibility of SKDC installing vehicle barriers on its three sites in Tattershall Drive and says the council is “sympathetic to the idea”.

He was among a small party doing a final clear up of the field yesterday, saying it was left pristine except for tree waste left by the Travellers.

Coun Broughton said the Travellers first arrived on Tattershall Drive between 10am-10.30am on Friday, May 19 and by 3pm they had been served with a Section 61 notice by SKDC, giving them 48 hours to leave.

He said SKDC could not have acted any quicker.

Coun Broughton believes that because the showground is tenanted, the tenant has the power to send in bailiffs to clear the site.