Eviction order due for Woodford Green travellers

THICK black smoke engulfed the skies of Woodford Green last week when a group of travellers set up home and started a bonfire to the fury of residents.

Five caravans have settled on a disused dairy works site in Chigwell Road and people living nearby have demanded they be removed.

Mary Gardiner of Crescent Road said: “This is terrible for the area.

“There were bonfires on a number of evenings and the smoke is foul.

“These people must be evicted as soon as possible so we can continue living as normal.”

Concerns were also raised about the safety of children at Oakdale Junior School, Oakdale Road, South Woodford because the fires were burning near the school’s rear fence.

Officers from Roding ward Safer Neighbourhood Team are now monitoring the site to ensure there are no further disturbances

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Roding ward Cllr Felicity Banks said: “I have received several complaints from residents.

“We have experienced this a few times before and it’s always hard to find a solution.

“If the squatters behaved responsibly it wouldn’t be much of a problem but as we know this is not always the case.”

A council spokesman said: “The emergency planning team attended and spoke to the travellers who did not require any immediate support.

“In line with our policy on traveller encampment a site visit is being arranged by the relevant service areas to assess the needs of the occupants.

“Officers will then make a professional assessment and the actions taken will depend on the information gained from the visit.”

The owner of the dairy site have been contacted and is seeking an eviction order.

A spokesman for the London Gypsy and Traveller Unit insisted there should be more sites made available for travellers.

He said: “There has been a big decline in the number of stopping places in the past 20 years which creates problems.

“More purpose built facilities should be introduced so families can stop legally and not cause any bother.”


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