Legal action taken to prevent travellers setting up camp

PUBLISHED: 07:15 26 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:59 11 May 2010

The disputed field

The disputed field

TRAVELLERS will not be setting up an illegal camp on a field in South Cambridgeshire after a council won an injunction to protect the land. South Cambridgeshire District Council has taken the unusual step of gaining a pre-emptive high court injunction t

TRAVELLERS will not be setting up an illegal camp on a field in South Cambridgeshire after a council won an injunction to protect the land.

South Cambridgeshire District Council has taken the unusual step of gaining a pre-emptive high court injunction to protect land off the A505 at Thriplow, near the pet crematorium. This was granted on February 18.

Cllr Peter Topping, who represents Thriplow on South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: "There have been strong rumours going around for the last month or so that the land had been bought by some travellers planning to set up a camp, and the district council had to take action for two reasons.

"Firstly, the A505 is a very fast moving road, and it would be crazy to have a lot of people living in a field right next to it. It could be very dangerous.

"Secondly, there is a planning process which must be followed by everyone when it comes to building new housing."

The injunction came about following collaboration between Thriplow Parish Council, the district council and local businesses.

A district council spokesman said: "The district council understood that the land was at risk of an unauthorised encampment by travellers, likely to result in caravans and/or mobile homes on the site and accompanying hard-standing and access roads, without the correct planning consent.

"The injunction prevents anyone from putting (or giving others permission to put) residential caravans and/or mobile homes and associated development on the land without planning permission or without seeking to vary the court order."

Cllr Nick Wright, district council portfolio holder for planning, added: "Working with the local community and acting swiftly, we have managed to protect some vulnerable land against unauthorised development.

"The planning process applies to everyone, and these injunctions will help to ensure that everyone pays heed to this, preventing the adverse impact on the countryside that unauthorised development would have.

"I hope the injunctions will prevent gipsies and travellers from paying money for sites that they can't use. We'd encourage everyone to take part in the planning system and help us identify sites that are suitable in terms of number, location and access to facilities.

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