Home   Thanet   News   Article

Thanet District Council orders travellers to leave Port of Ramsgate

Travellers granted permission to live at a Kent port following welfare concerns for children have been ordered to leave next week.

A group living at The Port of Ramsgate since May 2021 has until October 23 to vacate the site, reports say.

Travellers at the Port of Ramsgate have been ordered to leave
Travellers at the Port of Ramsgate have been ordered to leave

A notice was recently served on those living at the site indicating they are now unauthorised campers.

Despite previous legal proceedings determining they could stay put, Thanet District Council (TDC) has made further recent inquiries and withdrew its consent.

The families were given the go-ahead to make the area their home in June 2021 after TDC lost a bid to remove them at Margate Magistrates’ Court.

They were subsequently handed a stay of execution on welfare grounds due to the ill health of a little girl and a baby, who sadly died in September of the same year.

Since then, despite the port being an agreed stopping point, the council has made several unsuccessful eviction attempts.

The travellers have lived at Ramsgate port since May 2021
The travellers have lived at Ramsgate port since May 2021

When announcing the families had been ordered off the port on Friday, Colin Carmichael, chief executive of TDC, said: “The particular set of defined and acute welfare previously concerns identified no longer apply.

“The council also requires the land in question for other purposes related to the operation of the Port of Ramsgate.”

They are looking for an operator for Ramsgate’s port and hope to reinstate a cross-channel ferry service with £9.62 million earmarked for improvements.

The cash is part of the £19.8 million TDC was awarded in 2021 as part of the Government’s Levelling Up fund.

Traveller families at Ramsgate Port have until October 23 to leave
Traveller families at Ramsgate Port have until October 23 to leave

Previously, district councillors raised concerns over reports of “unsanitary and inhumane” conditions.

In July this year, residents slammed the camp as an “eyesore” due to piles of flytipping while TDC pledged to remove heaps of rubbish, reportedly made up of hardcore and brick.

A Thanet District Council spokesman said: “A letter was sent to the Traveller Coalition on Friday 22 September 2023, formally withdrawing consent for the use of the land at the Port of Ramsgate for an unofficial Traveller encampment.

“We will review the position at the end of the 28 day notice period before making any further decisions.

“What was initially an emergency placement in an unsuitable area, turned into a longer stay in an alternative location that is still unsuitable for residential accommodation.

“This decision has been made on the basis that the Port is not a suitable living environment. We need to address living conditions for the Travellers; residents need better, and we are working to deliver better.

“The port activities in Ramsgate are also due to increase shortly, which will result in more construction and the location becoming even more unsuitable for residential occupation.

“Identifying long term housing options for Travellers is vital, and the last few months have been very busy on that front, with work progressing on the strategy to identify potential smaller sites.

“We will, as always, continue to support residents with further homelessness applications if the families wish to make them.

“In the meantime, the council continues to service the shower and toilet blocks on site, with waste collections twice a week. Fly-tipping has been removed from the Port land.

“We continue to make regular welfare visits to the port, to ensure that we are providing appropriate support and taking welfare needs into account in any decision that we make.

“We are fully committed to continuing with the dialogue we have established with the Traveller Coalition, to find accommodation that works in the long term.

“By working together we can create the homes and support that are sorely needed, as well as the recognition of Travellers as a valued part of our community. We have offered to arrange an early meeting with the Traveller Coalition but have so far not received a response.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More