A small group of travellers camped on land next to Highbridge Railway Station’s Car Park left the site on Monday afternoon (June 17th) amid a threat of legal action from Sedgemoor district council.

The group moved onto the land on Sunday evening (June 16th) and Police were called, as pictured here.

Sedgemoor District Council spokeswoman Claire Faun told Burnham-On-Sea.com that the council and Police had visited the travellers on Monday morning and were “confident they would depart” on Monday afternoon – which they did.

Sedgemoor District Council, which owns the land next to the railway station’s car park, had threatened to begin legal proceedings.

Several motor homes and a caravan were later seen pitched up on Burnham’a Pier St car park on Monday evening but it was not immediately clear whether these were travellers.

Small numbers of travellers have been seen in Rooksbridge, Tarnock and Berrow during recent weeks, but the groups have not been as large as in some previous years.

We reported that Sedgemoor District Council revealed that taxpayers footed a bill of £5,400 during two years to get travellers moved using the normal legal process.

Council’s legal steps to move travellers:

This is the process that the district council follows once there is an unauthorised incursion on to Sedgemoor District Council owned land in Burnham and Highbridge area:

  • The travellers are issued with a letter advising that they are occupying council land without consent and are usually required to vacate within 24 hours.
  • If they do not vacate an application is made to the County Court for a Possession Order and the notice of hearing is then served on the travellers.
  • Under court rules, travellers must be given two clear days of notice of the hearing, not including the day that the notice was served, the day of the hearing and not including week-ends or bank holidays; which is why it usually takes at least a week to move them on.
  • If they do not vacate, the Council attends the court hearing and seeks an Order for Possession Forthwith. This is then usually served on the travellers the same day with the instruction that they vacate within 24 hours.
  • If they still do not vacate, the Police and Bailiffs are called in to assist with the removal.