Campaign launched to move traveller encampment in Northampton

The borough council is trying to use its planning enforcement powers to move the group on

Friday, 25th September 2020, 2:22 pm

An MP has called for action over an 'unauthorised' traveller encampment at Banbury Lane, Northampton, citing a series of complaints from residents since their arrival on private land about six weeks ago.

Andrea Leadsom, MP for Northamptonshire South, claimed that residents in Pineham Locks had sanitary towels thrown at them by children on the camp in an open letter written to the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold.

Mrs Leadsom said: "Residents in the area have had to deal with an unacceptable level of antisocial behaviour by those at the encampment.

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"Examples included sanitary towels being thrown at them by children, as well as stones being thrown at passing cars.

"There have also been incidents of fires being lit on the site, including at least one occasion where firefighters had to be called to the scene."

One resident described the encampment "like a small town" after about 20 more caravans pitched up there over the weekend.

The MP has urged Northamptonshire Police to consider a daily patrol of the area as many residents told her they are 'afraid' to walk near the site.

The encampment has been in Pineham for about six weeks.

It comes as borough councillor James Hill and county councillor Pinder Chauhan have called for a 'multi-agency' approach to find a solution.

Leadsom added: "I was told about, and saw for myself, an extraordinary amount of flytipping, including large piles of industrial and building debris.

"Residents explained that waste and debris is being tipped directly into the waterways at the edge of the land, which can't be easily seen from a distance."

A Northampton Borough Council spokesman confirmed to the Chronicle & Echo that the authorities were working with 'partners toward finding a solution' over the issues that have been reported to them.

A 'safe walking group' for the many dog walkers, parents of young children and others who would usually use the are for daily exercise are being created as residents have described feeling intimidated, Leadsom said.

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