Home News New travellers’ camp at seaside lawns ahead of lockdown easing

New travellers’ camp at seaside lawns ahead of lockdown easing

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Travellers have set up another encampment on Weston-super-Mare seafront – just days after a previous group was cleared from the site.

A group of around eight caravans arrived at the Royal Sands end of the Beach Lawns over the weekend.

This is the second encampment on the seafront this month.

The first group of around a dozen caravans stayed several days despite being issued an order to quit the site by North Somerset Council.

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The authority then started the process of applying to the magistrates court for an order to evict the group. However the group moved off the site ahead of the hearing and the site was cleaned by council contractors.

The council, which owns the Beach Lawns, has now begun the process of moving the group off the green space. Welfare checks are being carried out ahead of a notice being issued to the group to leave the site.

Their arrival comes a week ahead of lockdown restrictions easing further, when tourists are expected to head to Weston in their thousands.

It is not known whether the travellers are a different group to those who occupied the site last month.

North Somerset Council deputy leader Councillor Mike Bell posted an update on his Facebook page.

Councillor Bell said: “Another unauthorised encampment has set up on the Beach Lawns. It’s been reported to the police and CCTV team.

“The council will start the process of securing an eviction and I will ask the police to support. Here we go again …”

The Beach Lawns is a popular stop off for travellers and there were a number of encampments there last year.

Travellers also parked up on a number of occasions at the Melrose car park on the seafront, leaving a trail of mess behind them.

They have also set up camps on town parks and at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre.

The council has since installed up height barriers at the Melrose Car Park to prevent further encampments.

Some residents have asked the authority to look at ways to better secure the Beach Lawns to stop caravans parking up there.

But access needs to be maintained at the seafront site due to the number of events it hosts each year.

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North Somerset is a popular location with travellers during the summer months when they arrive in the district looking for work.

Currently, the council has no transient sites for travellers where they can be moved onto.

However the district does offer a number of permanent pitches for the travelling community including the Willowmead site and a newly developed site at the Old Junction Yard, both in Weston-super-Mare.

Join the debate – have your say in our comments section and let us know if you are affected and how you think camps should be dealt with, if at all.

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