Travellers illegally occupy Sidmouth's Manor Road car park

PUBLISHED: 11:40 20 May 2016

Archant

A community of travellers illegally occupied part of Sidmouth's Manor Road car park for three days last week, but left before the weekend.

Six families arrived with eight caravans and horse boxes, plus a range of vehicles, last Wednesday (May 11).

East Devon District Council (EDDC) said the travellers made no payment and told officers they intended to stay until Saturday.

An EDDC spokeswoman said: “They were asked to move on immediately, but declined. The council was very aware of the potential impact that the encampment would have on car parking availability in Sidmouth. However, in these situations, the council also has a clear duty of care towards the persons encamped on its land.”

After establishing there was no welfare issue, EDDC served notice at 10am last Thursday and told the travellers if they did not vacate the car park within 24 hours, they would be removed by bailiffs. EDDC said the travellers left the site after ‘a certain amount of persuasion’ at 7.30pm the following day.

Sergeant Andy Squires said some members of the group had been accused of ‘pushy’ sales techniques. He confirmed their goods were not stolen, despite residents’ concerns.

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