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21st May, 2022

Travellers breach barriers designed to keep them out of historic Castle Bromwich area

Felix Nobes 5th Jun, 2019 Updated: 5th Jun, 2019

TRAVELLERS have breached defences on an area of green space opposite the Grade II* listed gardens of the Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel.

The unauthorised encampment was set up on a field at Bradford Gardens on Sunday night and was immediately reported to the police by Solihull councillor for Castle Bromwich Steve Caudwell.

The camp is near the hotel conservation area.

The field sits opposite the 16th century red-brick hotel on Chester Road, surrounded by the gardens and the nearby Grade I listed parish church.

There were between six and eight caravans parked at the gardens after they allegedly breached defensive barriers designed to prevent encampments.

It is Castle Bromwich Parish Council’s responsibility to manage the encampment as it is based on its land.

Coun Caudwell (Green) said: “It’s obviously disappointing to everyone in Castle Bromwich that I’ve had to report yet another unauthorised traveller encampment on Bradford Gardens to the Police and the Parish Council this morning.

“As there is the suggestion of criminal damage to gain access the police may be able to move the camp on without having to resort to a court order; this would be quicker and would mean the Parish Council not having to employ bailiffs to handle eviction proceedings.

“I will of course keep everyone updated via social media as events progress.

“The Parish Council made the right decision last year to install defensive bollards, however with sufficient means and motivation almost any defence can be breached.

“It’s particularly frustrating that travellers keep choosing to camp on Bradford Gardens; they will inevitably be moved on, but in the meantime this will do nothing for traveller relations in north Solihull, which are already poor.”

Barriers and blockades have been credited with bringing down numbers of unauthorised encampments in the borough.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers money has been spent on clearing up encampments in the borough in the last few years, as we reported.

The issue has prompted the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson to call for local authorities to introduce transit camps which strengthen police powers to move travellers on when camps are set up on public land.

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