Tipton St John community pay for barrier to keep travellers out

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 September 2018

The travellers at Tipton. Picture: Archant

The travellers at Tipton. Picture: Archant

Archant

New gateway to car park paid for out of Community Hall funds

The community of Tipton St John, where travellers left behind a “disgusting” mess, have paid £2,000 for a barrier to stop caravans getting on to their car park again.

The travellers arrived on Tuesday, August 7, and spent just over a week camping on the privately-owned parking area opposite the primary school, during which they used the school playing field “as a latrine”, according to local residents, and also dumped rotting food and a dead dog on the land.

The extent of the pollution was discovered on Friday August 24, just three days before the annual summer fete was due to be held on the field, and the event had to be hastily relocated to the grounds of the nearby Sundial Care Home.

East Devon District Council’s Street Scene team were called in to clean up the mess, but charged a fee because the field is also privately owned.

A council spokesperson said;

“At the head teacher’s request we cleared the playing field and car park at Tipton St John of general rubbish, at a cost of £80 to the school. None of our workforce found any needles.

“It is the district council’s responsibility to remove fly-tipping when the land is public. When the land is private the landowner is responsible for any clear-up.”

Meanwhile local residents moved quickly to get a goalpost-style metal frame built and installed in the entrance to the car park, at a height that will prevent caravans from entering. It can be opened to allow legitimate vehicles in, with keys held by the school, the church and the Tipton St John Community Hall, which footed the bill.

John Harding, one of the Hall’s trustees, said they were extremely grateful to Bowden Engineering of Ottery, who built the structure within days.

“It can take two to three weeks for this sort of thing to be delivered, so we were over the moon when he stepped in,” he said.

“But this whole episode has cost us £2,500 including the £500 for getting the bailiffs in, and that was not in the plan. That money could have been spent on other projects in the village.”

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