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Council reveals cost of Burnham project to install concrete blocks to halt travellers

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Somerset Council has this week confirmed the cost of installing dozens of large concrete blocks around a Burnham-On-Sea playing field to try and halt travellers pitching up there.

The authority says £6,450 has been spent on 60 concrete blocks at access points around Burnham’s Cassis Close playing fields.

It comes after several visits by groups of travellers over the summer, causing cancellations and disruption for groups and residents, as we reported here.

A council spokeswoman told Burnham-On-Sea.com this week: “60 concrete blocks – each measuring 1.5-metre-long and weighing 1500kg – were placed at vehicle entrance points and behind timber knee-high rails at the Playing Fields.”

“Prior to this taking place, a meeting was held on site with the various user groups and all were in agreement with the idea. The entrance adjacent to the Bay Club has been fully blocked off, preventing future vehicle access.”

“The entrance adjacent to the Sea Cadets allows access to their compound but no further. The entrance from Worston Lane has currently been fully blocked off however we’re in conversation with the Burnham Lions about providing them with a small turning area out of blocks, to be able to access their lock-up.”

“The field has seen incremental security improvements in the last few years, starting with gates as the site was previously open, knee-high rails, then height barriers and finally concrete blocks.”

“Unfortunately, power tools are easily bought and inexpensive, therefore it’s always going to be impossible to fully secure the field, especially with so many user groups requiring access.”

Travellers have visited several Burnham and Highbridge locations over the summer, including Proper Job car park in Highbridge last week, the lawns outside Burnham Sailing Club earlier this month, and previously the Bank Street car park in Highbridge, Burnham’s B&M car park, the Cookson Close playing fields, the Cassis Close car park, as well as the Cassis Close playing fields.

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