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Concrete blocks put up by Aylesford parish council to stop caravans

By Claire McWethy

A parish council has taken matters into its own hands to try and stop caravans moving in.

Imposing concrete blocks have been placed outside the entrance to Ferryfield Recreation Ground in Station Road, Aylesford, in a bid to protect it from trespassers after the locks on the entrance were found to have been damaged.

It comes after two incidents of traveller incursions in Larkfield and Leybourne last month.

Concrete blocks have been put in front of the gate
Concrete blocks have been put in front of the gate

Aylesford Parish Council clerk Neil Harris said: "One of our staff noticed a vehicle acting suspiciously on Saturday, April 28, ,when we inspected we noticed parts of the gate had been damaged.

"We did park the council van in front of the gates before concrete blocks were moved in.

"It was a reaction that was needed as these incursions tend to happen within a few hours of any damage to access.

"We're being proactive as last year we had an encampment at Ferryfield.

"They left a huge pile of branches and trees, as well as other mess you might expect from people living somewhere."

The concrete blocks are expected to be a temporary measure as the council looks into further securing the ground's entrance.

Visitors to Ferryfield are still able to get in on foot.

The huge concrete blocks were placed at the entrance to the rec
The huge concrete blocks were placed at the entrance to the rec

Mr Harris added: "We've had a few people asking us why the blocks have been put up.

"Once we explain the situation they seem to understand why we've done it.

"Its up to our members to discuss other solutions at their next meeting and the blocks will be moved at the earliest opportunity."

Kent Police was unaware of the incident in Aylesford, but confirmed traveller encampments had been moved on from Leybourne and Larkfield earlier in the month.

A spokesperson said: "Kent Police was called to reports of a traveller incursion in Lunsford Lane, Larkfield on April 18. The matter was dealt with by the landowner - the local council - as is the normal process for these matters.

Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford.
Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford.

"On April 25, a further traveller incursion was reported on land off Lillieburn, Leybourne. This was also dealt with by the local council and the travellers left on April 30."

Recently an encampment left the 20/20 Industrial Estate in Allington, with eyewitnesses claiming human waste and piles of wood had been left behind.

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council have been approached for comment.

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