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Councillor who hired digger to stop travellers camping on local beauty spot welcomes installation of new barriers

A new barrier has been put up at Strawberry Bank Huthwaite.
A new barrier has been put up at Strawberry Bank Huthwaite.

Ashfield Councillors have welcomed a controversial barrier put in place to prevent vehicles illegally accessing a local beauty spot.

The barrier fitted on Strawberry Bank in Huthwaite will make it impossible for travellers to access the site whilst maintaining access for allotment holders in cars.

The area has had some unwanted visitors over the last few month, who left human waste at the site where they illegally camped.

The prompted councillor Lee Anderson to hire a digger and put two giant concrete boulders to prevent travellers returning to the spot.

Coun Anderson was issued with a community protection warning by Ashfield District Council and removed the boulders at the last minute.

Coun Anderson said: “Common sense has prevailed as a result of direct action by myself and residents. The long awaited barriers have been installed and it is great news for residents

“The travellers came twice and left a mess and twice Highways were very slow in acting.

“They created so much mess, they were burning copper wire, they were running some sort of gardening business, and using bushes as toilets.

“Within two or three weeks they were back, and did exactly the same thing again, leaving excrement and nappies everywhere.”

“Ashfield District Council had to clear up the mess left by the travellers at a cost of £500.

Coun Anderson a former Labour councillor who has recently defected to the Conservative Party added: “ What I want to know is why was I given a warning for fly tipping but the travellers didn’t receive one.”

Councillor Tom Hollis County Councillor for Sutton West said, “I know that residents have had to put up with chaos and Ashfield District Council have had to pick up a clean up tab running into thousands of pounds.

“What we needed to do is find a sustainable, permanent solution to stop travellers whilst ensuring that allotment holders had access.

“This two metre height restriction is perfect and will ensure that travellers will not return to the site.”

“I raised this issue in several Full Council Meetings at Nottinghamshire County Council and in the Communities and Place Committee.

“I have worked behind the scenes with council officers and residents to ensure that we find a solution that is acceptable to all. I know that locals have been frustrated by the time frame but they have my assurance that we got the height restriction erected and enforced at the earliest opportunity. “It just goes to show that by working together we can deliver results.”