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Travellers to be evicted from Taylor Wimpey Shorncliffe Heights site, Folkestone

By Victoria Chessum

A council is set to evict a group of travellers off a development site today, where 1,200 homes are being built.

Seven caravans and six other vehicles arrived at The Stadium in Horn Street, a site on Shorncliffe Heights in Cheriton, on Wednesday.

But the group has until midday today to move, or else the leaseholders of the site, Shepway District Council, said it will take "reasonable steps to remove the encampment."

A section of the Taylor Wimpey building site

The site is owned by Taylor Wimpey developers, which has planning permission to build a new school and nursery, a doctor's surgery, cafe and shops.

Up to 85% of the homes have been sold already.

A council spokesman said: "As leaseholders, we are taking steps to remove this unauthorised encampment.

"We have served a notice (under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994) on the travellers on Thursday requiring them to leave the site by 12 noon today.

Fencing surrounding the site where travellers have set up at Shorncliffe Heights. Picture: Andy Jones

"If they don’t comply with the notice and leave voluntarily, we will apply to the magistrates court for an order that will allow us to take reasonable steps to remove the encampment."

The South Cheriton Action Group claimed that security at the site had been bolstered since their arrival.

A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said: “We can confirm that a group of travellers have unlawfully accessed and are currently occupying land on the playing pitches at our Shorncliffe Heights at The Stadium development in Folkestone.

“As owners of this land, which is currently being leased to Shepway District Council, we are working jointly with the council to take action to ensure the travellers are moved on from the site as soon as possible.”

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