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Council attempts to evict unauthorised traveller camp at Shorncliffe Heights, Folkestone

Council officials are in the process of attempting to evict an unauthorised traveller settlement in Folkestone.

A group of caravans pitched up in a car park on Shorncliffe Heights Estate yesterday, only four days after they were evicted from the same site.

The camp is being moved on
The camp is being moved on

It is believed that this is the same group who set up in a car park next to The Range on Friday morning.

The group stayed in Shorncliffe Heights for two weeks before then and, according to some residents have been “wreaking havoc”.

Officers from Folkestone and Hythe District Council and Kent Police are at the scene today but were unable to access the car park as members of the group blocked the entrance with cars.

But it is now thought officers have gained access to the site and a flat bed truck has arrived.

A council officer at the scene told KentOnline: "The current plan is to evict them, and we are waiting for support from different agencies so that we can carry out that task."

Police and council officers are at the scene
Police and council officers are at the scene

Residents have reported a great deal of mess around the estate and a concrete sphere has been torn off the entrance sign.

A resident from the area said he has reported incidents of anti-social behaviour to the police and has contacted the council several times.

He said: "Tensions on the estate are high at the moment with an obvious feeling of anger being first and foremost.

"Residents including myself are asking why we should pay to live here in what is a nice community to have our lives affected like this with no visible action taken or deterrent put in place.

"We do not feel safe in our homes or feel able to walk around our estate. That in itself is nothing short of disgraceful."

The entrance to a car park at Shorncliffe Heights has been blocked by several cars
The entrance to a car park at Shorncliffe Heights has been blocked by several cars

An FHDC spokesman said yesterday: "We appreciate the negative impact that unauthorised encampments can have on nearby communities.

"We are aware of the situation and we would like to reassure residents that this is receiving our urgent attention, and action is imminent."

A police spokesman added: "Kent Police was called at 12.19am on Tuesday to reports of an unauthorised encampment in Aldridge Road, Folkestone.

"Officers have attended the site and spoken with the landowner.

"The landowner will deal with any eviction process, as is standard procedure for civil matters."

Residents have reported mess in the area
Residents have reported mess in the area

On their presence today, a spokesman added: "Officers are at the scene at present and this is to prevent possible breaches of the peace."

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