Travellers on St Matthews Field

Travellers have taken over part of St Matthews Field at the end of West Street, Bridgwater today. This is an unauthorised incursion on to Sedgemoor District Council-owned land albeit a not infrequent occurrence. Another incursion by Travellers took place in 2017. The Sedgemoor District Council legal team together with Avon & Somerset police have served a notice on the group, giving the group 24 hours to move on. Meanwhile SDC officers will be carrying out the statutory checks required by law at the same time.

SDC would like to remind residents that moving the Travellers on must follow a strict protocol:

  • The Travellers are issued with a letter advising that they are occupying council land without consent and are usually required to vacate within 24 hours
  • If they do not vacate an application is made to the County Court for a Possession Order and the notice of hearing is then served on the travellers.
  • Under court rules, Travellers must be given three clear days’ notice of the hearing, not including the day that the notice was served, the day of the hearing and not including week-ends or bank holidays; which is why is takes at least a week to move them on.
  • If they do not vacate, the Council attends the court hearing and seeks an Order for Possession Forthwith. This is then usually served on the travellers the same day with the instruction that they vacate within 24 hours.
  • If they still do not vacate, the Police and Bailiffs are called in to assist with the removal.

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