Urgent meeting called over squatters on park in High Green, Sheffield, after big clean-up operation
An urgent meeting has been called to look at how to prevent vehicles being driven on to a Sheffield park in future, following a big clean-up operation.
Around 50 caravans turned up on the field at Angram Bank in High Green, where the occupants remained for five days before leaving on Friday, August 6 after being threatened with court action.
Ecclesfield parish councillor David Ogle said it was the fifth time in recent years that vehicles had descended on the site and local residents had complained about being unable to use the park while they were there.
He told how the occupants had left the park in a terrible state, with gas canisters, glass and what Mr Ogle said was human excrement among the waste which had to be cleared this time.
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He has now called an emergency general meeting of Eccelesfield Parish Council this Friday evening, at 6.30pm, to look at ways to prevent vehicles being driven on to the park in future.
Mr Ogle said: “This is the fifth time we’ve had squatters in the park and each time the number of vehicles has increased.
"Either we accept that the park’s going to be written off for a few weeks each year or we do something to prevent access.
"We need to discuss putting boulders around the perimeter. It won’t be cheap – I believe we’re looking at a cost of around £20,000-£30,000 – but it will be a permanent solution.
“I will be asking my fellow parish councillors this Friday to agree for the parish council to pay for a barrier of whatever description so the work can be done as soon as possible.
“We can afford to do this, though it will mean other projects having to be put on hold.
“The park is owned by Sheffield City Council, but I’m not aware of it having secured any park in this way.”
The travellers who stopped at Angram Bank are believed to have been heading to the Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria.
Some people pointed out that the mess they created was nowhere near as bad as that caused by revellers at Endcliffe Park earlier this year and no more than festival-goers typically leave behind.
They argued that travellers are often unfairly demonised due to what they called ‘anti-traveller sentiment’.