Stevenage residents voice concern over travellers site

RESIDENTS surrounding a nearby nature reserve have raised concerns after a group of travellers settled on the land on Sunday evening.

Police were alerted by householders that travellers with around 50 caravans had moved onto land at Pryors Wood - a Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust listed nature reserve - in Great Ashby, Stevenage.

Bridget Quigley, who lives two streets away from the wood in Serpentine Close, was one of many residents to raise their concerns to police.

She said: “A large group of travellers have invaded our local park in Great Ashby.

“Dog walkers have nowhere to go and children go down there to play so that’s what we’re concerned about, as well as the safety issues as well.”

A police spokesman said: “Police safer neighbourhood officers and intervention officers are monitoring the site and are liaising with the land owner, North Herts District Council (NHDC), to move the travellers on as quickly and safely as possible with minimal disruption to the local area.

“No offences have been committed at the site.”

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Cllr Bernard Lovewell, NHDC portfolio holder for housing and environmental health, said: “We are currently reviewing the options to ensure that normal access to the site is restored swiftly while taking in to account the immediate welfare of the travellers.

“We are actively pursing a civil enforcement action that would begin to see the site cleared on Thursday, September 9.”

Anyone with any queries or concerns is asked to contact the local safer neighbourhood team on 01707 354192 or call the police non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222.

Alternatively the licencing and enforcement team at NHDC can be contacted on 01462 474000.