Royston travellers: The full story and exclusive pictures

13:49 29 March 2012

The full pitch. By Keith Dobney

The full pitch. By Keith Dobney

Archant

TRAVELLERS this week pitched up in Royston on a playing field flanked by housing next to Studlands Rise First School.

Three caravans, a van and a pick up truck arrived at around 10.30am on Tuesday morning after moving from an encampment in Meldreth on private property.

As The Crow arrived on the scene police and North Herts District Council enforcement officers were speaking to the travellers.

A female traveller said: “We’re not causing any harm to anyone, we just want to stay here as long as we can.

“We keep ourselves to ourselves and we are not causing any disturbances.”

She also said there are about 13 in her party, mostly children.

The land is owned by the district council and the authority is at present investigating how best to proceed.

Andy Godman, NHDC’s head of housing and public protection, said: “We are currently assessing the situation following the arrival of travellers on land in Studlands Rise, Royston, on Tuesday morning.

“This takes into account the welfare of those on site, as well as the needs of those living nearby.

“At the current time, all options are being actively reviewed and considered in discussion with other relevant agencies.”

Ward councillor Bill Davidson has been working with the police and council on the travellers.

He said: “I have been keeping in touch with the police and there is nothing they can do.

“The district council is on the case and is following it up.”

The park is directly next to the school and the travellers arrived on the same day as parents evening.

No-one from the school was availible for comment at the time of going to press.

The travellers’ new neighbours were not best pleased when they saw the caravans.

Gladys Edwards, of Furze Grove, said: “It’s terrible. I’m surprised to see it as it is a residential area and a playing field.

“We have been here for 25 years and we haven’t seen anything like it.”

This point was reiterated by Alan Page, of The Brambles.

He said: “I must admit I’m not totally surprised because of the easy access on to the recreation ground, at the same time it’s a shock to see them there.

“I’m concerned about what they are using for toilets and where they get their running water from.”

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