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Advice for Cambridgeshire landowners following unauthorised traveller encampments

By Ben Comber

Travellers on the site behind Marshalls Used Car Centre on Newmarket Road, Cambridge . Picture: Keith Heppell
Travellers on the site behind Marshalls Used Car Centre on Newmarket Road, Cambridge . Picture: Keith Heppell

Issues caused by travellers in Stapleford, Duxford and Cambourne prompts council action.

South Cambridgeshire District Council has today published additional advice for Parish Councils and private landowners following several recent illegal traveller encampments in the area.

The guidance sets out how both groups can secure spaces to prevent unauthorised camps, such as by employing physical barriers and locks.

It also contains an explanation of the legal steps that can be taken by landowners in the event of an illegal encampment.

Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cllr Peter Topping, said: “Our officers have worked quickly to produce this document, which will help private landowners and our Parish Council colleagues deal with situations that they are not accustomed to.

“This is part of our efforts to give ordinary people, who are at the forefront of their communities, extra support and a basic grounding in what can be complex legal circumstances.

“We have already worked closely with Parish Councils in Stapleford, Cambourne and Duxford in the last month, and this guidance will give other parishes a head-start should they find themselves in a similar position in future.

“This advice also makes it very clear to landowners that it is their responsibility to secure their land, but does set out the legal options and steps they can take should they find an unauthorised encampment.”

This month, the council has liased with Parish Councils in Stapleford, Cambourne and Duxford following the unauthorised arrival of travellers on recreation grounds.

Workers from the council’s shared waste service have removed rubbish that was left behind at the green spaces.

Encampments have also recently been set up on several pieces of private land in Fulbourn, Caxton, Papworth and off Newmarket Road.

A refreshed set of guidelines has also been published, to be handed out to travellers upon arrival on public land in South Cambridgeshire.

This sets out what they should do and what they can expect from the council, plus the health, education, accommodation and legal support available.

The newly-published advice can be found online.


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