Illegal traveller encapment leave before being forced out of layby near Northamptonshire village

The encampment has been there since Wednesday, February 24

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 4:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th March 2021, 5:40 pm

An illegal traveller encampment pitched up in a Banbury Lane layby between Hunsbury Meadows and Rothersthorpe has left of "its own accord", according to Northamptonshire Police.

The two motorhomes that were on site, which had been there since Wednesday, February 24, promised to leave at the end of February but broke that promise by continuing to stay put before finally leaving today (Thursday, March 11).

Northamptonshire County Council also released a statement today saying how it was planning to move the travellers on.

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The travellers at the site on Monday (March 8)

An NCC spokeswoman said: “Following regular monitoring of the current encampment located on highway owned land off Banbury lane, a decision has been made to serve a direction to leave this week.

"This will require them to vacate the land by Monday (March 15). Failure to do so will mean service of a summons and application to the magistrates court for an order to evict the occupants.”

There is also a large fly-tipping issue just 100 yards down the road from the site in a field near Hunsbury Meadows. Northampton Borough Council confirmed this week that the mess was left by a previous encampment and not by the one which has just left.

Back in September last year, an unauthorised traveller encampment pitched up at a different location in Banbury Lane, which led to residents in Pineham Locks saying they felt "afraid" of walking past.

One resident described last year's encampment as "like a small town", after more than 20 caravans were at the site.

Police in England and Wales will be awarded new powers to disperse trespassers under new legislation from the Home Office.

Following the end of consultations on legislation for tackling unauthorised encampments, a new law will make it a criminal offence to reside on any public or private land in vehicles without permission from the landowner.

The law intends to target unauthorised encampments which cause distress, harm and disruption to local communities.

Under the new trespass offence, police will be permitted to seize vehicles and arrest any offenders, who will be liable for a fine of up to £2,500, three months in prison, or both.

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