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Traveller camp on Romney Marsh remains in place after six days

An illegal traveller camp parked at the seafront remains in place...six days after it pitched up.

Around 14 caravans, all with foreign registered number plates, arrived in the Dymchurch Beach Car Park, next to landmark Martello Tower no.25, on Romney Marsh on Sunday.

Caravans, all with foreign number plates, have parked in the lot, just off the A259. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Caravans, all with foreign number plates, have parked in the lot, just off the A259. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Witnesses have described litter being strewn across the lot and damage being caused to the vehicle height barrier at the entrance.

Folkestone and Hythe District Council has started legal steps to remove the camp, having served a notice to the group on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the authority said: "The encampment at the Martello car park in Dymchurch remains in situ as of this morning (November 29).

"Our officers have visited the site and advised that they do not have permission to be there.

"The legal process to have the encampment removed has already begun, and a notice was served on Wednesday."

Environmental officers attended the car park in Dymchurch on Thursday. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Environmental officers attended the car park in Dymchurch on Thursday. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Police have also visited the site, and Dymchurch Parish Council is aware.

The encampment has caused some fears from residents about the mess that will be left behind.

One woman, who preferred to remain anonymous, said: "It's hardly tourist season with this weather so you could argue no harm is being done, but it’s the mess they seem to be making that bothers me.

"When they leave they’ll leave behind a lot of rubbish, and we’ll have to clean that up, or the council will and we’ll have to pay for it!"

Cllr Terence Mullard (UKIP), who is the ward member for Romney Marsh, said he had not received any calls of concern regarding the group.

'Obviously they are not paying car parking charges; that is enough to wind people up...' - Cllr Mullard

He added: "All I know from the council is that these characters were due to leave Wednesday.

"If they didn't then the council would take action.

"It is a camp of 14 and this crowd were moved on from Ashford and wound up here.

"As I understand it they moved the overhead bar to get in there.

"You do worry. And obviously they are not paying car parking charges. That is enough to wind people up."

Earlier this year, Canterbury City Council secured a year long injunction banning illegal encampments from its land.

Now, FHDC says it will consider applying for the same restrictions.

A spokesman added: "We are looking into possible future options around encampments on FHDC land - including injunctions - although no decisions have been made at this time."

Read more: All the latest news from Romney Marsh


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