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Travellers evicted after illegally entering Wycombe site
POLICE officers escorted travellers from a building site in High Wycombe today after they entered it illegally.
The travellers had previously set-up site in Marlow, Cressex and Loudwater but were moved away on each occasion.
However, the travellers say they are leaving the Wycombe area for good now after being evicted from council land in Hughenden.
More than 15 caravans were reported to pitch-up in the former Compair Site in the Hughenden Quarter, but were forced to move after Wycombe District Council carried out an eviction order.
WDC spokesman, Catherine Spalton, said: “The site is currently being extensively redeveloped, with the next phase of construction due to start in the summer.
“Having gained access to the fenced-off and heavily padlocked site illegally, the travellers stayed on the site without our permission as the land owners.
“For health and safety reasons, due to the redevelopment, it’s not an appropriate location for a temporary encampment, nor does it have the necessary permissions for it to be used in this way.”
The travellers were evicted at 12pm today and said they were going to move on to a new site in Feltham.
One of the travellers, Paul Robertson, 23, said: “We only just landed here, it is not the best but we are happy to stay anywhere as long as we have somewhere to stay.
“The thing is they keep moving us on, this is council land, and the council should help us.
“They came yesterday evening, and warned us the bailiffs and police would be coming to seize our vehicles, our homes, if we don’t go.
“We have 12 or 13 families here and they don’t want to go, we have kids and they want to settle, go to school but we can’t because we get moved on every time, sometimes two or three times a day.”
Although it is not clear when they arrived or left sites in Marlow and Cressex, they occupied land in Boundary Road, Loudwater on Thursday last week, but were evicted yesterday and moved into council land just hours later.
Miss Spalton added: “We’re pleased that the travellers have responded to our request to leave the site by the given deadline and that we do not have to take any further action.
“Had the deadline not been met, we may have been forced to take action to remove the caravans to ensure the travellers’ safety.
“When all the caravans have left, we will secure the site again. We won’t be pursuing the travellers for costs.”
Carrying out the councils eviction order were six High Court Enforcement Officers, who were supported by more than 20 Thames Valley police officers.
Although all travellers left on time and with no disruption, police still followed caravans away from the area whilst site entrances were reinforced by council workers.
High Wycombe Neighbourhood Sgt Darren Mitchell led the operation, he said: “We got the desired result. They left quietly before the notice was served.
“In my experience they do normally comply with us, it is just where they go next.”
Travellers had earlier told police officers in Loudwater that they were only staying for a wedding in Uxbridge but would soon be moving back to Bedfordshire.
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