A Travellers group which set up on private property in Manston has moved after being served notice to leave – but not far.
The group set up on land owned by Cummins Power Generation in Columbus Avenue on Friday and were served notice yesterday (July 17).
Some seven caravans quit the plot but have now moved to the perimeter fence at the side of the building on land. Originally Kent County Council were to start proceedings to remove the group but it has since been discovered the authority sold the land as part of the East Kent Opportunities venture with Thanet council.
Thanet council has been asked for comment.
An authorised site
Calls have been made for Thanet to provide an authorised site such as those in Canterbury and Aylesham.
Labour county councillor Karen Constantinesaid: “I can fully understand the frustrations of the ‘settled’ community with the mess and disruption that sometimes occurs after these so called ‘incursions’. But we do also have to recognise that Travellers have rights too. We need to strike the right balance by creating proper sites with proper facilities. There is a shortage right across Kent.
“We need to look for a proper Traveller site here in Thanet. If we provided facilities then it would hopefully curtail the number of encampments that are unauthorised. “
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.