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Trafford Council begins legal process to evict travellers on John Leigh Park

Trafford Council has “started the legal process” to evict a group of travellers which has set up camp in John Leigh Park.

Travellers at John Leigh Park this afternoon

Trafford Council has “started the legal process” to evict a group of travellers which has set up camp in John Leigh Park.

The group arrived on Monday night and at least 12 vehicles are occupying a field close to the tennis courts.

Council officials have now carried out an assessment of the situation with Greater Manchester Police.

A spokesman for Trafford Council said: “Council officers and Greater Manchester Police have undertaken a joint assessment of the site, and the Council have started the legal process which would enable them to remove the travellers from the site.”

And Dan Jerrome, Green Party councillor for Altrincham, added: “We are in regular communication with council staff and with residents regarding this ongoing situation. However, there is a legal process underway and we must be mindful that we don’t hinder this and that we let the council and other authorities act appropriately.”

The damaged Hartley Road entrance where the travellers arrived

There were reports yesterday of the group lighting at least one bonfire and a car was allegedly driven at speed across a field.

The council’s website states that if traveller groups cause problems they will be “moved on as soon as is possible and reasonable”.

It adds: “The Council will consider each case on its merits. In all cases the site is visited and every effort made to make sure that the Gypsies/Travellers keep the site tidy and do not cause public health problems. This sometimes means that refuse collection facilities may be provided for this purpose.”

At least 12 vehicles were camped on John Leigh Park on Tuesday afternoon

In order to evict the travellers, the council states that it must follow a four-stage process:

  • Show that the Gypsies/Travellers are on the land without consent.
  • Make enquiries regarding the general health, welfare and children’s education.
  • Ensure that the Human Rights Acts 1998 has been fully complied with.
  • Follow a set procedure in terms of proving ownership of land and details of the illegal encampment that will enable them to successfully obtain the necessary authority from the Courts to order the Gypsies/Travellers to leave the site.

When approached by Altrincham Today on Tuesday and asked how long they were planning on staying, one said “one to two weeks” while another said “five weeks”. They would not say where they have moved on from.