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Home   Malling   News   Article

Councillors and police are working to get a large group of travellers who are now at Castle Way and Lillieburn in Leybourne moved on

28 July 2014
by Angela Cole

A large group of travellers has moved on to a site in Leybourne.

Up to 20 caravans, with around 100 people and vans and cars are now on green space at Castle Way in Leybourne, with a smaller contingent a short way off on land in Lillieburn.

The group began to arrive on Thursday evening, with others joining them by Sunday morning.

Leybourne Parish Council has been inundated with queries from residents, partly as the land, which is partially owned by Tonbridge and Malling council and Kent County Council, includes the local children's play area.

Police have been at the site where travellers are in Leybourne

Police have been at the site where travellers are in Leybourne

It is understood the travellers gained access to the site by removing a fence post and part of the fencing.

Police had a PCSO stationed close to the site on Saturday.

"That is our only play area for our kids. I don't live right opposite the site, but I've also been told there's a smell of human waste" - resident

A spokesman for Leybourne Parish Council said: "It's an unfortunate situation. A course of action has to be followed and that is being done. There are over 100 travellers there at the moment.

"It's an unfortunate situation. A course of action has to be followed and that is being done. There are over 100 travellers there at the moment" - Leybourne parish council spokesman

"We are also dealing with issues including the children's play area, which is at the end of the open space now being occupied."

One resident, who did not want to be named, told the KM: "That is our only play area for our kids. I don't live right opposite the site, but I've also been told there's a smell of human waste."

Tonbridge and Malling council has been notified and has been working on serving the travellers with summonses and eviction notices, which are likely to be served today or tomorrow.

"Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council became aware of an unlawful encampment on land east of Castle Way, Leybourne, late on Thursday 24 July 2014.
 
A spokesman said: "On Friday, the borough council carried out the appropriate welfare assessment of the persons present and thereafter proceeded to serve a direction under Section 77 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.
"This direction required the persons present to leave the land, which is in the ownership of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council and Kent County Council.
 
"We are aware that a number of families remain on the land. We shall therefore be attending the Magistrates Court tomorrow to seek an Order of the court to require the Travellers to leave the land. If granted, the council would then be able to enter the land to secure the removal of any persons then present, together with their vehicles."

A police spokesman added: "At present, this remains a matter for the local authorities which own the land and who have asked the occupants to move on.

"Officers are aware of concerns surrounding anti-social behaviour at the location and we will continue to closely monitor the situation."

 

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