A new, large group of travellers pitched up in Burnham-On-Sea’s seafront car park on Sunday evening (July 1st) – the latest in a series of visits this summer.
The group, pictured here, comprising of almost 20 vehicles, arrived in the Esplanade car park next to B&M early on Sunday evening, occupying scores of spaces at the southern-most end.
Sedgemoor District Council, which owns the car park, is again starting the legal process of getting the group moved from the car park.
Police were called to the car park when this latest group arrived, and officers were seen visiting each caravan to check on the occupants’ plans.
This week’s arrival comes after a series of visits by travellers to the car park over recent years – including one last month when a small group was in situ for almost a week.
A separate group of travellers is still pitched up on the Bank Street Car Park in Highbridge – and legal action is underway by Sedgemoor to get them moved as well.
We reported last month that Sedgemoor District Council had revealed that tax payers have footed a bill of £5,400 during the last two years to get travellers moved using the legal process outlined above.
Meanwhile, Burnham-On-Sea’s MP James Heappey is working on a change to the law to try and prevent travellers illegally trespassing on land, as reported here.
. Council’s steps to get the travellers moved:
This is the process that the district council follows once there is an unauthorised incursion on to Sedgemoor District Council owned land:
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.