Travellers have moved on to Dreamland car park

Travellers at the Dreamland car park

Travellers have set up an encampment on the Dreamland car park.

Around ten caravans and vehicles reportedly moved on to the site this evening (March 24).

The car park is Thanet council property, meaning the authority may have to apply to the courts for an eviction notice. This would cost some £226. If further hearings are necessary, this can go up to £355 each time.

Dane Valley councillor Gary Taylor says he was contacted by worried residents. He has passed details to Margate ward councillor Iris Johnston.

A Thanet council spokesman said today (March 27): “We are aware of the traveller incursion at the Dreamland car park. We have police and community safety officers on site today (March 27) to complete the required welfare checks. If no welfare needs are identified, officers will issue a Section 77 notice requiring them to leave the land forthwith.”


The process

Council land

For council-owned land Thanet council would need to obtain a ‘direction to leave’ order from magistrates’ court.

To do this the authority has to:

  • Show that the gypsies/travellers are on the land without consent.
  • Have regard to the general health and welfare of the group and the children’s education.
  • Ensure that the Human Rights Act 1998 has been fully complied with.

The council must follow a set procedure that is based on Government guidance. This procedure includes proving ownership of the land, carrying out assessments for the health, welfare and education criteria, and assessing the impact of the encampment on its location and local neighbourhood.

Once these have been carried out the council can use this information for the service of notices and summonses to apply for a court order for eviction.

Private land

For privately-owned land the landowner can attempt to agree a leaving date with the travellers or take proceedings in the County Court under the Civil Procedures Rules 1998 to obtain a court order for their eviction as trespassers.

The landowner may be in breach of planning legislation and the Caravan Sites Act 1960 unless they have already obtained planning permission for a caravan site.

If there is no planning permission the council may take proceedings against the landowner to require removal of the illegally parked caravans.

There were some 84 illegal encampments in Thanet last year, the majority of these being Traveller camps, compared to just two in 2014.

Gypsy and Traveller communities

According to a report by the LGA there are around 16,000 Gypsy and Traveller caravans in England. Around three quarters of these caravans are on authorised sites.

Many of these sites are well-managed and are an accepted part of the local community. In 1994 the duty on local authorities to provide sites was removed and since then under-provision of authorised sites has resulted in Gypsies and Travellers camping on land that they do not own (unauthorised encampments) or developing their own land without planning permission (unauthorised developments).

While the number of caravans on unauthorised encampments has started to decline, the number of caravans on unauthorised developments has increased. The average size of an unauthorised development is around 4 caravans, and private sites with planning permission have an average of 6 caravans.


  1. Have they seen how much it costs to park in that car park? They’ll soon move on when they realise.

  2. Ah.. the traveling folk. Isn’t it good they never leave the place in mess and clear up after themselves. They never feel entitled. Refreshing.

  3. Thank you to Cllr Taylor and Kathy. I have reported on to Mrs Homer. Also reported again the state of doorways in the town especially Primark and Woolworths. The shelter has had nine seat arms pulled out and the whole place needs a massive wash down. I was promised a clean up two weeks ago.

  4. Well maybe if they had proper sites they wouldn’t need to keep doing this it’s disgusting how people always blame travellers for every little thing

  5. They don’t need to leave the place in a terrible mess with vehicles dumped along with all manner of waste either. These are the same travellers that have wasted countless court costs on removal notices all over Thanet.
    If they are on the car park then charge them accordingly or send the Parking Wardens down.

  6. most them tinker from ireland that why they come here to do no good send them back to ireland you know that police know that council know that block them in dreamlands car park so truck and van cant get out to do work there soon move answer to that prob

  7. Refreshingly, the author of this article is brave enough to mention the correct appellation of gypsies. I was looking forward to the post-PC society. Now it’s here at last. After all, which one of us hasn’t been a traveller when going on holiday?

  8. I wonder if the Police ever check driver licence details, tax and insurance in relation to the towing vehicles . . .

  9. They don’t deserve the soft approach that they get when going on private or L/A property the mess they leave behind and destruction the cause when entering.I think that there vehicles should be Immobilized and not released until an appropriate fine and costs has been paid !!!

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