Travellers given notice to quit site in Bury St Edmunds

Travellers on land on Heldhaw Road, Morton Hall .

Travellers on land on Heldhaw Road, Morton Hall .

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Travellers on the Moreton Hall playing fields in Bury St Edmunds have been given until 10am tomorrow to leave or face legal action.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council served a section 77 notice on the travellers on Tuesday. The notice will ban their return to the site for the next three months.

It comes after the travellers moved off Pond Grove Close at the weekend, and settled on the council owned pitches off Heldhaw Road.

It is understood about 18 caravans moved on to the site.

The council has also served another section 77 notice to stop them from simply returning to Pond Grove Close within the next three months.

The counci held a welfare meeting to discuss the impact of the travellers on nearby residents on Tuesday.

A council spokeswoman said: “The council is continuing to pursue the necessary legal action to have them removed if they do not comply with the request to quit.”

News of their arrival angered local residents.

Mark Sheppard tweeted: “When will they be moved off I ask? Not able to use recreation al space while ‘travellers’ occupy it so would like this done now.”

Another resident Barrie Jones, has written to Bury MP David Ruffley about the matter.

Mr Jones said the arrival of the latest travellers had left local residents ‘furious’.

He called for tough legislation as applied in Ireland.

“There are a lot of very angry people here in Bury,” he said in a letter to the MP.

Mr Ruffley said the council had tried to provide a traveller’s site in the past but ‘ Understandly’ was met with opposition from people who did not want it on their doorstep.

He backed calls for tougher and clearer legislation.

“Frankly most of my constituents think it favours those who camp illegally over law abiding citizens,” he said.

Suffolk police said it was aware of the travellers but no crimes had been reported.