Thanet council has been granted an Order for Removal which will now be served on a Travellers’ group currently based at the car park to the rear of Dreamland. Police were at the scene this afternoon following the court hearing this morning (May 25).
The first of the group moved on to the site on May 14. The following day they were issued notice to quit by Thanet council but remained at the site with vans increasing from six to 10 by the weekend.
Now there are around 16 caravans at the site.
The order requires the group to move on immediately.
A Thanet council spokesman said: “Thanet District Council attended Canterbury Magistrates Court to request an Order for Removal which the court has granted. The order which will be served on the Traveller group currently based at Dreamland compels them to leave forthwith.
“If they refuse to comply with the order, arrangements will be made to facilitate their removal.”
It is the third time the car park has been used as an encampment in the past three months. A group who moved onto the site in March left two days later following the issuing of a court summons.
A second group used the site in April. The same month the Travelling community set up at Dane Valley Green.
Travellers’ group at Manston
Further settlements this year have taken place at St Nicholas, Manston Tesco and land by the Manston airport site, which is currently in use by a Travelling group.
The group, thought to be Irish Pavee Travellers, have eight caravans and also horses on Kent County Council owned land by the airport. They are expected to leave after the weekend.
A spokesman for KCC’s Gypsy and Traveller Service said: “We understand they are in Thanet for a horse fair this Bank Holiday weekend and intend to leave shortly afterwards.
“If that is not the case, we will take the appropriate action to have them removed from the site.”
Providing Traveller sites – the law
The Housing Act 2004 and Planning Circular 01/2006, Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites, has put in place a framework which means every local authority has to identify land for the sites that are needed in its area. The Secretary of State has powers that can ensure that those sites are identified, and the Local Government Association (LGA) says local authorities should be proactive in doing so.
The LGA adds: “The provision of these sites removes a major cause of friction between the two communities – unauthorised sites and illegal camping.”
The nearest authorised areas to Thanet are at Aylesham and Canterbury but according to Kent County Council there are currently no plots available at these sites.