Firefighters tackle bonfire on field occupied by travellers near Guildford Tesco and Royal Surrey Hospital

January 12, 2019
By

Firefighters have tackled a bonfire on a field in Guildford that is currently being occupied by travellers.

An encampment was spotted on Bannisters Field in Ashenden Road, opposite the Tesco superstore and close to the Royal Surrey County Hospital, on Friday morning (January 11).

One fire engine was seen parked up in the Tesco car park backing onto the field just after 3pm on Saturday (January 12).

A spokesman for Guildford fire station confirmed they had received a call from a member of a public about a bonfire that was burning waste on the field.

Firefighters have since extinguished it.

Surrey Live reporter Alex Boyd attended the area, where he saw towards the top of the field a small-scale bonfire burning and billowing smoke, nearby to a group of caravans.

Eleven caravans and around eight vans or cars were also seen parked up.

Smoke from a bonfire can be seen at the far end of the field, nearest the Tesco superstore
(Image: Surrey Live)

The entrance to the field showed a number of muddy tyre tracks, many of which continued across the land – on which caravans and vehicles have occupied a large area.

Cars were seen driving around the field, with many children playing in the field’s playground.

A number of dogs were also observed walking around without leads.

Also on Friday (January 11), a second Guildford encampment appeared in Millbrook Car Park, Millbrook Road, near The Weyside pub.

Traveller encampment at Bannisters Field, Guildford on Friday (January 11)
(Image: Grahame Larter)

Information on the Guildford Borough Council (GBC) website states “notice to be served” with regards to the Bannisters Field encampment, as well as asking for Surrey Police to be contacted with any issues of antisocial behaviour.

The same information said that a notice had been served to the encampment at Millbrook Car Park.

Surrey Police said on Friday (January 11) that it had been made aware of both encampments on Thursday (January 10) evening, and had completed an initial site assessment.

How can Guildford Borough Council deal with traveller encampments?

Taken from information on the GBC website, here is what the council says it does to deal with with “unauthorised encampments”. It says it follows a set legal process as follows:

  • To find out who owns the land.
  • If GBC own the land, it will then check to find out if those camped on the land have any specific issues that require consideration.
  • If there are no specific issues to consider, GBC will serve a direction to leave.
  • If the people camped on the land stay past the date and time given in the direction to leave, GBC will apply to the courts for a possession order.
  • A summons is served on those camped on the land to attend court.
  • If the courts grant an order to remove the encampment, the person or people camped on the land are served with notice of this.
  • If they remain on site after the order is served, GBC contact bailiffs to carry out an eviction

Evictions:

GBC says that evictions will be carefully coordinated to ensure they are safe for everybody, including those on the site and those living nearby.

Gypsies and Travellers:

It is important to note that GBC recognise that groups of people such as Gypsies or Travellers, who they say often create encampments, are protected from discrimination. The council states that “it is not illegal to roam, and people cannot be prevented from roaming”.

Another section of the webpage also reads: “Although, we do not, by law, have to remove individuals or groups who illegally camp on our land, we do try to move all those who have set up an unauthorised encampment as quickly as possible.”

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/firefighters-attend-guildford-traveller-encampment-15669156


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Firefighters tackle bonfire on field occupied by travellers near Guildford Tesco and Royal Surrey Hospital

January 12, 2019
By

Firefighters have tackled a bonfire on a field in Guildford that is currently being occupied by travellers.

An encampment was spotted on Bannisters Field in Ashenden Road, opposite the Tesco superstore and close to the Royal Surrey County Hospital, on Friday morning (January 11).

One fire engine was seen parked up in the Tesco car park backing onto the field just after 3pm on Saturday (January 12).

A spokesman for Guildford fire station confirmed they had received a call from a member of a public about a bonfire that was burning waste on the field.

Firefighters have since extinguished it.

Surrey Live reporter Alex Boyd attended the area, where he saw towards the top of the field a small-scale bonfire burning and billowing smoke, nearby to a group of caravans.

Eleven caravans and around eight vans or cars were also seen parked up.

Smoke from a bonfire can be seen at the far end of the field, nearest the Tesco superstore
(Image: Surrey Live)

The entrance to the field showed a number of muddy tyre tracks, many of which continued across the land – on which caravans and vehicles have occupied a large area.

Cars were seen driving around the field, with many children playing in the field’s playground.

A number of dogs were also observed walking around without leads.

Also on Friday (January 11), a second Guildford encampment appeared in Millbrook Car Park, Millbrook Road, near The Weyside pub.

Traveller encampment at Bannisters Field, Guildford on Friday (January 11)
(Image: Grahame Larter)

Information on the Guildford Borough Council (GBC) website states “notice to be served” with regards to the Bannisters Field encampment, as well as asking for Surrey Police to be contacted with any issues of antisocial behaviour.

The same information said that a notice had been served to the encampment at Millbrook Car Park.

Surrey Police said on Friday (January 11) that it had been made aware of both encampments on Thursday (January 10) evening, and had completed an initial site assessment.

How can Guildford Borough Council deal with traveller encampments?

Taken from information on the GBC website, here is what the council says it does to deal with with “unauthorised encampments”. It says it follows a set legal process as follows:

  • To find out who owns the land.
  • If GBC own the land, it will then check to find out if those camped on the land have any specific issues that require consideration.
  • If there are no specific issues to consider, GBC will serve a direction to leave.
  • If the people camped on the land stay past the date and time given in the direction to leave, GBC will apply to the courts for a possession order.
  • A summons is served on those camped on the land to attend court.
  • If the courts grant an order to remove the encampment, the person or people camped on the land are served with notice of this.
  • If they remain on site after the order is served, GBC contact bailiffs to carry out an eviction

Evictions:

GBC says that evictions will be carefully coordinated to ensure they are safe for everybody, including those on the site and those living nearby.

Gypsies and Travellers:

It is important to note that GBC recognise that groups of people such as Gypsies or Travellers, who they say often create encampments, are protected from discrimination. The council states that “it is not illegal to roam, and people cannot be prevented from roaming”.

Another section of the webpage also reads: “Although, we do not, by law, have to remove individuals or groups who illegally camp on our land, we do try to move all those who have set up an unauthorised encampment as quickly as possible.”

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/firefighters-attend-guildford-traveller-encampment-15669156


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