Temporary Traveller site allocated at Ramsgate Port following unsuccessful removal order for Palm Bay group

The caravans have been parked at Palm Bay

A section of Ramsgate Port will provide a temporary site for a Traveller group that has been at Palm Bay since last month.

Following a number of complaints, Thanet District Council attended Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, May 27 seeking an order for removal of the ‘unauthorised encampment’ at Palm Bay.

The order was unsuccessful on welfare grounds and the council was required to identify an alternative site in order to comply with the court.A Thanet council spokesperson said: “A small section of land at the Port of Ramsgate has been identified as a temporary alternative site for the group of 13 caravans. This will be on the lorry park between the roundabout on Military Road and the former terminal building.

“Arrangements are currently being made to provide fencing, sanitary provision and fresh water. Once in place the group will be reallocated to the site.

“This is a temporary arrangement which is required in order to comply with a ruling from the Court.

“The site has been identified on the grounds of the ability to provide the welfare arrangements required with access to water and sanitation, whilst being outside of a residential area and causing as little disruption to commercial activity of the Port as possible.

“The council will be taking steps to mitigate against further unauthorised encampments at Palm Bay once the site is clear. This includes increasing the height of the grass bank to bring it to a level too high to drive over.”

Previous temporary site proposals

In December 2019 approval was given for work to assess Potten Street in St Nicholas-at-Wade, Tivoli Brook in Margate and Ramsgate Port for use as temporary tolerated stopping sites.

But both Ramsgate Port and Tivoli Brook were removed from the plans in July 2020.The proposal for Ramsgate Port was scrapped because it was “undergoing a feasibility study and the proposed area is in use for the storage of cars and is returning a revenue, it is also an industrialised area and not suited to families and young children.”

‘Tolerated’ pitches’

A need for 7 permanent and 5 transit vehicle pitches in Thanet was identified in a study for Thanet council. Temporary tolerated pitches are when unauthorised encampments stay for an agreed amount of time.

The council says this means smoother enforcement is easier on those unauthorised encampments which chose to ignore the direction and stay on other land.

A temporary tolerated site also allows easier management of amenities such as waste collection and toilet provision, reducing the impact on the local area.

A review of sites was carried out. In August 2020 plans to use Potten Street car park at St Nicholas and land at Shottendane Road in Margate were put on hold.

Thanet council made a ‘call for sites’ through its Local Plan review. No further sites have yet been announced.

The aim was to use tolerated sites on a rotation basis to alleviate the issue of unauthorised camps on the isle. Thanet currently does not have an authorised Traveller site, with the nearest being in Canterbury and Dover.

Friends, Families and Travellers charity

The Friends, Families and Travellers charity say local authorities need to provide adequate land for travellers to stop as many families are forced to pull up in public spaces and on private land. This leaves many with interrupted access to basic water and sanitation, education and healthcare.

.An FFT spokesman previously told The Isle of Thanet News that sites should be made available, saying: “We would recommend that the district council and local authority work with the Traveller community in the area to identify land that would be suitable for building new sites to accommodate these residents.”

A ruling on ‘wide injunctions’ against Travellers and Gypsies

A landmark ruling last month has marked the end of councils using blanket bans against Gypsies and Travellers who have nowhere to stop.

The  judgement was that wide injunctions can only be granted against individuals who can be named or properly identified. Councils need to demonstrate they have notified them about the legal proceedings. Wide injunctions cannot apply to anyone who is not notified about the final court hearing. This means that any Gypsies or Travellers who come on the land at a later date will not be covered by the injunction.

Wide injunctions against “persons unknown” have been used by councils in England to prevent Gypsies and Travellers from stopping on public land since 2015.

At a High Court hearing in January, 13 councils from across England defended their wide injunctions. Friends, Families and Travellers, London Gypsies and Travellers and the National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups acted as interveners in the case with legal representation from Garden Court Chambers and Community Law Partnership. Following the judgment, it is likely that all injunctions against “persons unknown” will be discharged (source Families, Friends and Travellers charity).

59 Comments

    • Why havetou asked a question then answered it yourself.

      Why not ask the question of the council and then replay the reply instead of assuming out of ignorance.

    • Why don’t you find out about the legally binding arrangement for permanent Gipsy and Traveller sites before letting your prejudice and ignorance show?

  1. Maybe this will mean TDC will at last sort out the need for a proper site for the travelling community as is laid down in law, TDC have been taking to long if they had acted with due speed 5 years ago at least they would have saved thousands of pounds on eviction notices and now they can’t get away with it, the travelling community has as much rites as every other person, we all will not agree but in law they have, they just choose to travel rather than stay in one place,

    • I agree but it is difficult when every time TDC come up with suggested locations there is public outrage and opposition. I was in a council meeting when proposals were discussed and was shocked at the palpable anger and hatred emanating from the public gallery. There are many, often difficult, considerations when selecting a site including access to utilities and facilities. I think we either need a private landlord, such as a farmer or business, to come forward and offer a site or we need a binding referendum where the electorate vote for a site from selected locations. We need an official site, a Government Inspector has insisted on this, and if we had one it would give the council more authority and the power to move on any unauthorised incursions.

      • What is needed is the whims of the racists, the prejudiced and the bigots to be ignored when it comes to taking decisions that will provide massive savings if sites are established.

        Too long have the taxpayers been shouldering the burden of the racists etc hate and verbal obstruction to money saving resolutions to the issue.

      • Along with rights come responsibilities.
        Would you show us how travellers demonstrate their responsibilities to the communities on whom they decend?

        • This particular group ancestors were orbiting Thanet since the the rime of Lord George Sanger and help him construct Margate into what it is today. They may indeed think of people coming into Thanet in the last hundred years as depending on them

          A la Native red Indians/Aborigines.

          Your notion of what ‘rights’ obligate is quite quaint.

          Have you never heard of inalienable rights?

          Could you in turn demonstrate the responsibilities a sizeable portain of asbo type have towards Thanet.

          Don’t get bogged down to the point you see Thanet through Rose tinted glasses.

    • In law and are they required to pay council tax, income tax, national insurance ? If so would it not be reasonable to have this confirmed before being given access to provided sites? If not then surely it can be seen why there is a degree of resentment to laws that mean an area has to provide facilities at cost to the local council taxpayer.
      Pretty sure everyone one would be quite happy if all laws and regulations were respected and adhered to by both parties.

      • If the site is to be permanent then you can rest assured TDC will want CT. After all their gold plated pensions demand it.

        On the Issue of income and National insurance; why do you suggest they dong pay that.

        They have vans with company names on, are you suggesting that a people who are scrutinised by today police and HMTC much more than any other community of people are somehow given a free pass by both these authorities?

        If you are then youveould need to provide proof of thstcwhich you would surely have

        Unless…

        You were presenting the views of the Sun and/of Daoly Mail.

        Those bastions of the truth.

  2. There are plenty of places that people with caravans can go. Such places have sanatory provision and fresh water. Caravanners pay a fee for such facilities.

    Here we have a situation that caravaners chose not to pay a fee and instead they are provided with free facilities that are paid for by our Council Tax.

    And the law supports them . . .

  3. well this one takes the biscuit ! and our rates are paying for it , and for clearing the up the pile of s**t they will leave behind – thats if they ever leave ?. this will work wonders for all these people we are supposed to be attracting to buy a £750.000 flat half a mile along the front.

    • Don’t worry. Some people think having such a vibrant community in Ramsgate will actually raise it a little bit.

      I of course couldn’t possibly comment on that opinion.

  4. The. Council states area not suitable for children and families, I take it all the caravans are empty, bullshit

    • Hindsight is a glorious thing.

      I wish I’d only picked numbers that win the lotto. Dash it all.

      Thing is a court of law said resolve this issue instead of wasting 1000s in taxpayers money bring them to court.

      The vouncil have obeyed the court judgement,we should all applaud that.

  5. I think perhaps most Thanet Residents wouldn’t mind so much if these people paid Council Tax & Rates, but ha they live for free, not right IMO.

    • A huge number of people in Thanet already pay very little, if any Council Tax if they are on Housing Benefit. Stop picking on the Gypsies and travellers.

      Read this for a start:-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiziganism

      • Most of them don’t dump their fecal matter all over the place & have underage kids tearing around illegally on motorbikes & in cars. Are you a traveler yourself? If not then how about you just invite them to live in your house & garden instead of Dane Valley etc?

      • Clare, there are also many people in Thanet who have paid their council tax and for their bins to be collected, have homes and send their children to the same schools for years, without uprooting them, in fact they have settled lives. In view of all your comments, please tell us all how we, who pay our taxes, can avoid paying them legally. I know these people have a right to live where they want, but don’t we all, but we pay taxes.

      • Which means Clare that the budget is already very stretched without these so called travellers taking more from the pot without putting anything in.

        It should be very simple, you want that way of life but a site to stay at you pay for it, simple! The council don’t pay my mortgage and utility bills do they!

        Also maybe these travellers might be able to shed some light on where the lead went from the East Cliff lift? As is very close to there regular camp at the car park.

        Travellers add nothing to the community they just take, dump rubbish and con people of sub standard work and threaten them if they bring issues up.

        The only reason you would stick up for them is if you were one of them!

    • How do you suggest they pay council tax and rates?

      They are located next to a sewage outlet.

      What facilities are in place for them to pay for that?

    • Can you suggest how people in a unauthorised camp can pay council tax?

      Have you given this any thought before you posted.

    • The tourist just recently after lockdown left Thanet floating in human waste and litter. And wasn’t expected to pay CT.

  6. If they are “travellers” why do they wanna base? Send them to camp outside the magistrates house.

    • The term ‘Traveller’ is a term hoisted on them by society. Its not how they refer to their race.

      Thus they do not need to life up to an epithet pressed on them

      Good job they wasn’t called ‘Jumpers’by society or some nitwit might ask why they want to stop jumping for a while.

    • How about you come & take a look at how they leave the places they illegally occupy before being evicted? Maybe you would like to clean it up? Maybe you would like door knockings trying to con you into imaginary roof damage repairs? Intimidation of locals/residents etc?

      • Can you post up one place hey have ‘illegally occupied’

        You are pisting out of ignorance.

        The camp is unauthorised not illegal!

        Did and do you clean up after the tourists that defecated and littered Thanet after the ending of the lockdown and every summer?

        If nogcshy are you advising people to deal with any small scale mess in comprehension to what Thanet recently experienced from day trippers?

        Or is there mess different?

        Who commits the massive rate of crime in Thanet when its not the Travellers?

        It your wider community, in case you are stuck for ananswer

  7. Human excrement around their encampment is a health hazard. The used toilet tissue and wet wipes caught in the grasses are obscene. They cannot wash as there is no running water. How can children be raised in that environment? How can these poor kids be allowed to think it is healthy to live like that. What is happening as regards ‘Safeguarding’?

    • This is a situation TDC allowed to continue until ordered by a court to resolve the issue.

      Something they could have done years ago.

      Give people the facilities they are morally entitled to and this sort of situation will be a thing of the past.

      The neglect of resolution is squarely at the desk of TDC.

  8. Nothing wrong with their history or their lives Clare, They reap what they sow they ruin the lives of others by their actions and mess they mistreat animals. Put your rose Coloured specs down and and be look at the real life.

    • Are you seriously suggest 360,000 people from these communities do as you state?

      Let’s reverse the question; are the 66 million people in the UK responsible for the crime committed by the criminal within society?

      By your logic we are.

  9. The only time TDC remember where Ramsgate is, is when they want to get rid of a problem.

  10. I have no problem with them having a permanent site. The conditions should be a designated number of pitches,booked in advance, deposit payable in case any rubbish needs clearing and a weekly rental payment requested to cover the costs of maintaining the site. All to be paid by debit card and not cash. I don’t think this is unreasonable.

    Problem sorted.

    • Of course thst would then have to be extended to social housing as well.

      Or it would be clearly discriminatory.

      BTW if that was forcefull extend to private landlord we wouldn’t have the DFLs organise litter collection off the streets on a daily basis.

  11. There are many permanent gipsy sites all over the UK. If you had a site for 50 pitches then another 50 come and camp where they like then what are the council going to be expected to find another site for that 50 then the next lot. In Minster gypsies have already purchased a caravan site.

    • If you already have sufficient pitches available then it is straightforward legally to evict travellers from other unauthorised sites in the area.

      Why do you think Thanet has so many issues with travellers compared to Canterbury or Dover ? It’s because Canterbury and Dover have authorised sites for travellers already allocated. Thanet doesn’t and the travellers know full well they will have problems and delays evicting them here.

  12. how can they be called travellers when they dont travel anywhere, they just hover round and round thanet, they are just people who live in caravans and and dont want to pay any taxes

  13. Perhaps some Thanet Pro the Freeloaders can invite them to Poo and leave litter in their garden.

  14. So they are being moved from next to a water treatment facility to Ramsgate docks which happens to be right next to the Western undercliff beach and Pegwell bay nature reserve NNR(National Nature Reserve). Both of which are stunning this time of year. Lets hope they respect the area, the tourists and local residents. Maybe it will become a tourist attraction.

  15. how they are living is a life style choice – no one is forcing them to live like this , i would be very surprised if any of them are of genuine romany descent ? more like cash and dash tarmac drives and dodgy roof work , just keep an eye out for the crime incidents rising.

  16. Maybe the council have fixed the weather to wash them away.
    Maybe the council put them there to protect our boarders.
    Who cares, not in your garden is it…

Comments are closed.