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Plans in place to stop travellers setting up camp in Hockley Heath park

Solihull Editorial 28th Jan, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

PLANS are underway to stop travellers from setting up camp on Hockley Heath Park.

Hockley Heath Parish Council gave the go-ahead to introduce a bylaw on the private land which will give police the power to move any encampments off quickly.

The move comes after villagers were terrorised when 14 caravans set up camp on the land last year.

Peter Rayson, Hockley Heath Parish Council’s chairman, said adults and children alike caused disruption with their aggressive behaviour towards Hockley Heath residents and this was only exacerbated by the claims of intimidation and loss of goods by shop owners.

But police lacked the power to intervene until court proceedings to give them permission to remove the travellers off the private land were completed, taking several days.

Villagers were also left with a huge clean-up operation of the park – even having to call in a specialist to handle the amount of household and human waste left behind.

Since then the council has improved security around the park giving the area more ‘robust defences’.

Mr Rayson said: “Last year was the first time it had ever happened so no one was clear on what the procedures were.

“Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council gave us full support and guidance of the procedures we would have to follow to get them removed.

“We are a small parish council with a private park so the bylaw will allows us to protect the property of the village.”

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