Trav­ellers set up camp on com­mon land

Res­i­dents warned to ‘be vig­i­lant’ by coun­cil­lor

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by TOM HER­BERT tom.her­bert@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @TRHer­bert

A group of “at least 60” trav­ellers set up camp on com­mon land in Chal­font St Peter last week.

Dozens of car­a­vans and cars moved onto Gold­hill Com­mon at about 9.45pm on Tues­day July 18.

Chal­font St Peter Parish Coun­cil urged chil­dren and dog walk­ers to avoid the area amid a se­ries of warn­ings from groups and Thames Val­ley Po­lice (TVP) on so­cial me­dia.

The trav­ellers re­port­edly re­moved wooden posts to gain ac­cess to the land, which is owned by the parish coun­cil and close to a play­ground.

Vil­lagers were asked on Twit­ter to re­main vig­i­lant by Chiltern Dis­trict coun­cil­lor Isobel Darby and were told at around 9.10am on Tues­day that “the wheels are in mo­tion” to re­move them.

Speak­ing on the morn­ing of the in­cur­sion one vil­lager, who did not want to be named, said: “I counted at least 60 car­a­vans and more [were] ar­riv­ing through­out the morn­ing.

“Kids [were] run­ning around bare­foot and half­clothed, us­ing the grass as a toi­let.

“Grown men [were] walk­ing around top­less and one was speed­ing across the com­mon in his new Mercedes.”

She said that chil­dren could no longer use the play­ground through­out Wed­nes­day (July 19) as it had been “com­pletely taken over” by trav­ellers.

And added: “For this to hap­pen at the start of the sum­mer hol­i­days is up­set­ting for fam­i­lies whose chil­dren play on the com­mon.

“It [was] a com­plete nogo zone.”

A Chal­font St Peter Parish Coun­cil spokesman said: “The parish coun­cil are as dis­ap­pointed as our vil­lage res­i­dents that our com­mon had been oc­cu­pied.

“For­tu­nately we were no­ti­fied early and so our parish coun­cil­lors and staff were able to act quickly to start the ap­pli­ca­tion for evic­tion. Our Thanks to TVP for their as­sis­tance.”

A spokesman for TVP said: “We had a re­port about 9.45pm on Tues­day July 18.

“There were a num­ber of car­a­vans and cars ar­riv­ing on Gold­hill Com­mon.

“The land is owned by the parish coun­cil. There was me­di­a­tion be­tween the po­lice, the coun­cil and the group.

“The first re­port was about 20 car­a­vans.”

TVP is­sued those who were il­le­gally oc­cu­py­ing the com­mon an evic­tion no­tice to leave by 10am on Thurs­day July 20.

Most had re­port­edly left overnight and the fi­nal car­a­van was re­moved at around 1.30pm.

Kids are run­ning around bare­foot and half-clothed, us­ing the grass as a toi­let

Coun­cil­lor Isobel Darby took this pic­ture of the trav­ellers

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