From the District Council website:
Monday, June 12, 2017
Rochford District Council has been made aware that Travellers have moved onto council-owned land to the rear of Grange Community Centre, in Little Wheatley Chase, Rayleigh, as of Sunday. We have also received reports that there has been some damage to wooden posts on the site.
Our on-call officer attended the site on Sunday afternoon and found 11 caravans to be present at that time.
We have been liaising with the police and Essex Countywide Traveller Unit (ECTU) in relation to this matter. ECTU are expected to serve a ‘Direction to Leave’ notice on the site tomorrow (Tuesday 13 June) which will give the Travellers 24 hours to leave. If they remain on site after this period a court application will be submitted on Wednesday and, subject to this, a Court Summons will promptly be served.
UPDATE Tuesday 13 June:
Essex Countywide Traveller Unit (ECTU) has confirmed that a ‘Direction to Leave’ notice has been served on Travellers that have camped on land to the rear of Grange Community Centre, in Little Wheatley Chase, Rayleigh.
This comes after Rochford District Council became aware of the encampment on Sunday June 11 and promptly began liaising with ECTU and the police.
ECTU has informed us that there were 12 caravans on the site as of today (Tuesday June 13). The notice served today will give the Travellers 24 hours to leave. If they remain on site after this period a court application will be submitted on Wednesday and, subject to this, a Court Summons will promptly be served.
Wednesday 14 June 2017
UPDATE: Traveller encampment in Rayleigh
Additional caravans arrived on land to the rear of Grange Community Centre, in Little Wheatley Chase, Rayleigh yesterday afternoon. A decision was made by the police to allow them onto the field due to the disruption to traffic movement in Little Wheatley Chase and the surrounding area.
The legal process for removing the first encampment of 12 caravans is in progress and an application to the courts has now been made.
For legal reasons the additional caravans will be treated as a separate encampment, the process to remove them has also commenced.
The police are working closely with the Council and the Essex Countywide Traveller Unit (ECTU) in monitoring the situation.
The Council are encouraging residents not to take photographs.
Wednesday 14 June 2017 – 15:55pm
UPDATE: Traveller encampment in Rayleigh
The Essex Countrywide Travellers Unit legal representative has just received a summons confirmation from the Court. This will be served on the 12 caravans tomorrow.
The court date is set for Monday 19th June 2017.
The Direction to Leave notice will also be served on the second group tomorrow.
UPDATE: Traveller encampment in Rayleigh – 15 June 16:15pm
Rochford District Council has received confirmation from the Essex Countywide Traveller Unit that the Court summons they received yesterday (15 June 2017) has now been served on the 12 caravans at Little Wheatley Chase, Rayleigh
The Direction to Leave, which gives the Travellers 24 hours to vacate the site, has also been served on the additional caravans. If they do not leave a further application will be made to the Court.
UPDATE: Friday 16 June
A council officer visited the site at 9.30am today (Friday June 16) and found 10 caravans from the first encampment and 4 caravans in the second group. Our contractors, Suez, have been to the site this morning and removed four black bags of waste. Once the site has been vacated, if there is any residual waste it will be cleared by our contractors.
As previously stated, Essex Countywide Traveller Unit (ECTU) will be seeking a court application in relation to the second encampment. A court summons has already been served on the first encampment and a court date is set for Monday 19th June 2017. These two encampments have to be treated separately due to the legal process.
We are currently talking to contractors with regards to securing this site and others in the district.
UPDATE: 5pm, Friday 16 June
Our contractors are preparing to put some suitable barriers in place as soon as possible.
UPDATE: Monday 19 June
A court summons has been served on the second group of Travellers that have camped on land to the rear of rear of Grange Community Centre, in Little Wheatley Chase, Rayleigh.
We have been informed that the first group have now left the site, after a similar Court Summons was served on them last week. The legal process requires that the two groups are dealt with separately.
An officer from Rochford District Council visited the site this afternoon and there were five caravans present at that time.
Our contractors have placed some tree trunks on the site in an effort to prevent any issue with caravans being towed over the banks.
Plans are in place to install more permanent physical barriers to restrict any further access to the site, and shall be put in place once the Travellers have vacated.
It’s time for RDC to take the same action as Harlow and get a 3 year injunction banning these from setting up on any land that does not belong to them. Hey, we’ve just had an election and each candidate told us what a great job they would do if elected. So you lot, stop blaming each other and make it happen, if Harlow can do it so can we. Otherwise a gang of “travellers” will appearing in a field near YOU very soon….ðŸ˜¡ðŸ˜¡ðŸ˜¡ðŸ˜¡ [EDITED}
The logical step is to change the law on trespass. Has been done in E Eire. This would make this a criminal offence and arrests could be made.