Residents’ concerns that Travellers have set up at Joss Bay

Travellers have arrived in Joss Bay Photo Chris Smee

Suspected Travellers have pitched up in Joss Bay this morning.

Three vans and two caravans set up on the green opposite the council car park around 10am today (August 7).

Fears have been raised by residents raised that the camp will be on site during the town’s Folk Week. Travellers are also reported to be at Palm Bay and Nethercourt.

Photo Chris Smee

Travellers have moved onto several isle sites over the last few months. An encampment who moved on to Dane Valley Green last month were served notice to quit after eight campers and caravans turned up.

On  April 5 a group moved caravans onto the site and left on April 13 – apparently to another spot on the isle.

A second Traveller community arrived soon after and did not leave until May 3.

Photo Chris Smee

On June 27 Travellers who had set up at Jackey Bakers field in Ramsgate were moved on – but set  a ‘new’ encampment up at Dane Park in Margate. They were moved on the same night and eventually set up camp in Herne Bay.

Thanet council has been notified.

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.

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