Trav­ellers spend two nights on play­ing field

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News - By Kristina Cur­tis

Trav­ellers set up camp on a play­ing field near an Ash­ford su­per­mar­ket.

About 10 car­a­vans were first spot­ted by nearby res­i­dents on Scrapes field, in Her­bert Road, on Mon­day night.

They were still at the site – near Asda and Ash­ford De­signer Out­let – first thing yes­ter­day (Wed­nes­day) but left later in the morn­ing.

Cllr David Smith, who rep­re­sents the South Willes­bor­ough ward on Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil, said: “The res­i­dents in that area have been very good at let­ting me know what was hap­pen­ing.

“I was told very quickly when the first car­a­vans ar­rived, and the res­i­dents have re­sponded well to the ac­tions tak­ing place.

“Just last month I went out to the area to iden­tify all the vul­ner­a­ble places.

“We used to have sump-cut­ters, which are small posts, put in the fields which con­trac­tors could lower with a special key to get on to the field.

“How­ever, the keys got lost so peo­ple were pulling the posts out when­ever they needed ac­cess. This meant they got re­ally loose. Al­though it would have been a sim­ple re­pair job, this never hap­pened.”

It is be­lieved the trav­ellers ac­cessed the field through the area by the bas­ket­ball court.

Cllr Smith said: “The coun­cil has started pro­tect­ing its fields and I’m very pleased that they are do­ing this work.

“I do recog­nise the fields by Her­bert Road as vul­ner­a­ble ar­eas – the ad­join­ing land to Scrapes field has been fully pro­tected.

“We’ve re­cently put all new fenc­ing in the field and it’s pro­tected with a new gate in­stead of sump-cut­ters.”

A spokesman from Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil said: “We have taken swift ac­tion on this. Of­fi­cers from our hous­ing team have been out to the site and, as they have to by law, they have car­ried out the rel­e­vant wel­fare checks.

“They is­sued the trav­ellers with a no­tice to leave the site by Wed­nes­day morn­ing.”

Trav­ellers moved on to a field on Her­bert Road

The bas­ket­ball court where trav­ellers ac­cessed the site

Cllr David Smith

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