Illegal gypsy site on green belt soon cleared

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tough action by Doncaster Council has resulted in an illegal gypsy site being almost cleared of caravans although two families are refusing to comply with a High Court order.

The site has been set up over the past fortnight in Bentley and green belt land has been ruined by the travellers’ actions.

Four out of five caravan pitches forming part of the illegal encampment were vacated on Thursday after enforcement work by Doncaster Council, who wanted to demonstrate that gypsy traveller groups setting up new sites without planning permission will not be tolerated.

The council was made aware on July 27 of hardcore rubble being imported down Stocksbridge Lane. A visit the next day revealed walls along the country lane had been bulldozed into the field, hedges removed, trees uprooted, branches torn off and massive amounts of rubble piled on the land.

Despite the council issuing a Temporary Stop Notice requiring all work to cease, the order was ignored, with new traveller plots continuing to be laid out.

A High Court injunction was gained on July 30 in order to stop the work and prohibit occupation of the illegal sites - but a further visit by council and police officers last Tuesday found there was ‘continued disregard’ of the order.

Morecaravans were seen to have been brought onto the newly created pitches and people had taken up residence.

The council served a further injunction on the illegal sites forcing the community to move on, and five of seven caravans moved out.

But officers were prevented from completing enforcement action when the occupier blocked access to two remaining caravans with a road roller.

The breach of the High Court order means the council is considering contempt proceedings.

Coun Cynthia Ransome, Cabinet Member for Environment Protection, said: “People who choose to live on sites without seeking the necessary planning approvals will not be tolerated. This is a thorough legal process and I’m really impressed with the sterling work conducted by our council and police officers.”