Council praised for prompt action as travellers move into rugby club

Caravans at Sidford Rugby Pitches

Caravans at Sidford Rugby Pitches - Credit: Sidford Rugby Pitches

Council officers have been praised for taking prompt action after a group of travellers moved on to training facilities at Sidmouth Rugby Club. 
Caravans are believed to have arrived at the Sidford facility during a junior training session.
“They arrived at Sidford on Sunday afternoon, when our under-13 girls were in the middle of a training session,” said Sidmouth Rugby chairman Matt Barrett. “It was pretty distressing for the coach, the girls and the parents. 
“We lease the Sidford pitches from East Devon District Council and the ground is relatively well protected by gates and timber posts, but there is a small gap.
 “Our coach clocked what was happening and blocked the entrance with his work van but had no choice but to move. 
“He was on his own with a team of under-13 girls and over the course of the next couple of hours, a constant stream of caravans arrived. 
“There were 22 caravans in total. 
“The Council was very proactive in serving notice to have them swiftly removed. 
“The Council sent in enforcement officers on Monday morning and, because they had already been evicted from East Devon land, the same warrant applied. 
“We had them for around 24 hours and I cannot thank East Devon District Council for their excellent response. As a club, we have been very lucky."

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