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Travellers set up camp in Evergreen Field, Wanstead

PUBLISHED: 11:59 23 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:59 23 October 2017

Travellers in Evergreen Field, just off the High Street, in Wanstead. Picture: Ken Mears

Travellers in Evergreen Field, just off the High Street, in Wanstead. Picture: Ken Mears

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Travellers have set up camp in Evergreen Field, Wanstead, just off the High Street.

Travellers in Evergreen Field, just off the High Street, in Wanstead. Picture: Ken MearsTravellers in Evergreen Field, just off the High Street, in Wanstead. Picture: Ken Mears

The group arrived at 9pm on Friday night, with several caravans and vans, and reportedly told police they would leave by the middle of the week.

The land is owned by Ilford based company Dalco Developments, and the Recorder understands it has been informed.

Scott Wilding, secretary of the Wanstead Society, said: “When we called the police had already had five calls to them.

“Officers went down at 11am and they said they would be there for a few days because they had a wedding.

“I understand Travellers need somewhere to stay, but this is an illegal settlement.

“The council has spent £100,000 cleaning up Traveller camps this year, and the owners Dalco Developments will be left to clear up the mess.”

A Met spokeswoman could not confirm reports about a wedding, but said: “Officers are aware of the travellers occupying Evergreen Field.

“They are monitoring the situation and are liaising with the owner of the land regarding the Travellers.

“However we must emphasise that as of yet there have been no ASB issues caused by the Travellers and their presence on the land.”

Travellers have set up camps in several different places across the borough in the past few months.

They were evicted from Roding Valley Park, Wanstead, in September, as the council was forced to close all of the parks to vehicles for a day.

The group also pulled up in the former Doctor Johnson pub in Clayhall, The Valentine in Gants Hill and Goodmayes Tesco.

The council revealed it has spent more than £100,000 cleaning up rubbish left by Travellers this year.

Many Recorder readers have reacted angrily to the increased sightings of the group in the borough, however a Redbridge charity said this showed the need for more authorised sites.

David Landau, of Redbridge Equalities and Community Council (RECC), said the change of law which stopped local authorities having to provide land for Travellers has had an impact.

“In Leeds they have experimented with a temporary stop place,” he said.

“This has proved a great success and there is now far less conflict between the traveller and settled communities there.”


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