Ashfield council to take 'robust action' on traveller camp at Sutton Lawn

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, council leader.
Councillor Jason Zadrozny, council leader.

A group of 15 caravans has pitched up on Sutton's main open playing field - and the council is taking the matter "extremely seriously".

The traveller encampment, on Sutton Lawn, was first reported to Ashfield District Council on Sunday afternoon (August 18) and is on the piece of land owned by the Sutton Academy.

Ashfield councillors were "immediately on scene" to take action on the "illegal encampment", including council leader Councillor Jason Zadrozny who has vowed to take "robust action" in the coming days.

He said: "The council takes these encampments extremely seriously and, although we don’t own the land currently occupied - we work with landowners, police and other agencies to clear these encampments as soon as possible.

"It’s unacceptable - we won’t let our parks be taken over like this. Officers will issue trespass notices and eviction notices first thing Monday morning."

It is not the first time travellers have camped on Sutton Lawn, with Ashfield District Council moving on two separate camps during the 2018 summer.

Following the new camp's arrival, Coun Zadrozny added that the council plans to act and "move them on swiftly".

He said: "I would like to reassure residents that we are doing everything we can to move them on. Can I thank residents for getting in touch in their dozens.

"We will be working with Sutton Academy to move them on swiftly and with minimal disruption.

"This council takes robust action against travellers and will continue to do so. I will update residents on this.

"We will not let travellers continue to act in this manner. Not now, not ever.”

A similar sized group of travellers were on site at an open field in Bellamy Road, Mansfield, from Monday, August 12, and it is understood they moved away from the site on Sunday, August 18.

Residents in Sutton have been advised by the council "not to engage" with the encampment, and to report any concerns to the council's private sector enforcement team on 01623 457345.