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UPDATE: Travellers leave Woodlands Park before court order deadline

PUBLISHED: 10:32 12 August 2016 | UPDATED: 10:32 12 August 2016

The travellers' camp in Woodlands Park

The travellers' camp in Woodlands Park

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Bailiffs were on standby to evict the travellers

Local resident Nick RedmanLocal resident Nick Redman

The group of travellers that had been camped in Woodlands Park since last week left the site this morning, before the deadline of a court order mandating their departure.

Officers from Gravesham Council will now examine the area for damage and clear any rubbish left behind, while vehicle access to the park is to be secured

Medway magistrates issued a court order yesterday (August 11) on the council’s application following the issuing of a summons on Tuesday.

If the travellers had failed to comply with the court order, bailiffs would have moved in to evict them.The travellers entered the park last Friday evening (August 5) in three vehicles, and a number of tents were erected.

On Sunday, a council official accompanied by a police officer gave the travellers notice that they must leave the site, which is owned by Gravesham Borough Council.

The travellers said there was a medical situation involving a pregnant woman and that they intended to leave on Monday evening.

One of the group told the Reporter there had not been any trouble but added that “people have been complaining”.

“We had people calling names and coming with flashlights but now it is all ok. The police have been fine with us.”Local resident Nick Redman commented: “Basically, all they have done is set up camp on our property that we pay rates for. They are paying no rates or anything else.

“They may have all sorts of problems, but they have put themselves right in the middle of the park.

“There is a ridge across the park, and this morning there was a vehicle parked halfway up, so kids have not been able to play football.

“Children do not feel safe.”

Mr Redman added that the travellers should be made to contribute to the costs of cleaning up the area when they move on.

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, echoed concerns about the travellers’ impact on youngsters in the area.

“People are concerned about it,” he said. “I have heard of families not taking their children to the park because of those concerns.

“It is unsightly and unsafe, but I am not aware of any trouble.”

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