Travellers could be on lawn ‘for at least a week’

The leader of Ashfield District Council has suggested that the travellers on Sutton Lawn could be there for “at least a week”.

The encampment arrived on the lawn on Saturday (October 20) - the second time since July that Sutton Lawn has been used by a travelling group.

Travellers on Sutton Lawn adjacent to properties on Bramley Court.

Travellers on Sutton Lawn adjacent to properties on Bramley Court.

Councillor Jason Zadrozny has revealed that while the council has been “tough on travellers” in recent months, this incident is “out of their hands” because the travellers are on the land of Sutton Academy.

He said: “I would expect that the encampment will be on the lawn for at least another week.

“In the past we have worked hard to use our powers as a local authority and remove them quickly, however that is only when they are on our land.

“I understand the confusion with Sutton Lawn because people will think that it is public land and therefore it falls on the council to remove them from our property.

“However Sutton Lawn is a strange situation because part of it is our land, part is owned by the County Council, and part is owned by Sutton Academy.

“It just so happens that the encampment is on the land of the school and therefore it is ultimately down to them to remove them.

“At the end of the day, while it is down to the academy we as a council will still deal with the clean up process and do whatever we can to support them.”

READ MORE: Council vows “strong action” on travellers.
The council leader emphasised that he and council officers have been working hard with the academy to set up measures to move the encampment from the school’s property.

This includes liaising with the local sheriff to begin taking movement action.

However, he also revealed that there has been complications with people in the encampment.

He said: “We were notified that we have to hold fire on taking immediate action because a few of the travellers are technically vulnerable people.

“I think the biggest priority now once we eventually move them off the Lawn is to work with all partners at the site to set up preventative measures.

“We have already blocked off our entrances and now we need to do what we can, alongside other occupants, to block off all entrances in the future.”