Travellers occupy King George V Playing Fields - ahead of Stevenage Day

PUBLISHED: 19:13 28 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:55 29 May 2019

Travellers have set up camp at King George V Playing Fields in Stevenage. Picture: DANNY LOO

Travellers have set up camp at King George V Playing Fields in Stevenage. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

A group of travellers who first parked up on a Stevenage playing fields on Friday afternoon remain there at this time - but with a court hearing looming.

Stevenage Borough Council began an eviction process, welfare check and had served notice to the occupants at King George V Playing Fields by Friday afternoon. Picture: DANNY LOOStevenage Borough Council began an eviction process, welfare check and had served notice to the occupants at King George V Playing Fields by Friday afternoon. Picture: DANNY LOO

According to its official social media channels, landowner Stevenage Borough Council began an eviction process, welfare check and had served notice to the occupants at King George V Playing Fields by Friday afternoon. A court summons was also served on the occupants the same afternoon.

This evening a Stevenage Borough Council spokeswoman told the Comet: "A court hearing is due to be held tomorrow at which the council is requesting that the encampments are legally removed.

"If granted, the travellers will be given a date and time by which they must leave.

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"If the court order is not complied with then the council will need to instruct bailiffs to remove them."

Responding to a question about whether Stevenage Day will go ahead on Sunday, June 9, the council replied on Twitter to say it had "no concerns".

Police officers have also visited the site and have issued the travellers with a code of conduct they need to follow. A force spokeswoman said officers will continue to monitor the site to make sure this code is adhered to and to provide reassurance to local residents.

Neighbourhood Inspector Simon Tabert said: "We understand that this situation might cause concern and frustration among the local community, especially as there is often perceived to be a lack of action. However there is a set criteria in law that has to be followed when using the legislation open to police and landowners."

Another report of travellers arriving at Caxton Way a day later - Saturday - was also acknowledged by SBC via its Twitter account.

The council said it is offering its support to the landowner at Caxton Way.

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