Huge traveller group on Ashtead Recreation Ground served court summons by council

August 10, 2018

A group of travellers, who moved onto Ashtead Recreation Ground on Wednesday (August 7) evening have been served a court order after refusing to leave.

The group were served the summons for Monday (August 13) by Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) after failing to comply with a Notice of Direction to leave issued on Thursday (August 8).

Many members of the public took to social media to inform people that the group had arrived into Ashtead.

On Twitter, MVDC said that the unauthorised encampment consisted of 54 caravans and vehicles.

A group of travellers moved onto Ashtead Recreation Ground on Wednesday (August 8) evening
(Image: Grant Melton)

In a statement, the council offered more clarity.

“Approximately 35 caravans and a number of other vehicles entered onto Ashtead Recreation Ground, which is Mole Valley District Council owned land, on the evening of Wednesday 8 August,” said Councillor David Hawksworth CBE, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing.

“MVDC visited the site on Thursday August 9, supported by Surrey Police, to conduct a welfare needs assessment and served the individuals with a Notice of Direction, requiring them to leave the site immediatly.

“As this notice was not complied with, MVDC needs to seek a court order requiring those on the site to leave. We have been granted a hearing on the morning of Monday 13 August.”

In a separate incident in Elmbridge last Friday (August 3), residents attempted to form a blockade to stop around 200 travellers from moving onto the Claygate recreation ground in Church Road.

Following the eviction of the Elmbridge group on Saturday (August 4), Surrey Police defended its “moral obligation” to treat travellers fairly, a move that was ill-received by the public.

Surrey Police has been contacted for comment on the Ashtead unauthorised encampment.

On Thursday evening (August 9), Mole Valley Police tweeted that they had served a Section 61 notice at 6pm on a group of people camped on the recreation ground at Barnett Wood Lane, Ashtead.

They continued by saying that the trespassers have until 3pm on Friday (August 10) to leave the location.

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