Boulders bid to stop traveller camp

Traveller children climb on scaffolding erected at Dale Farm travellers' site at Cray's Hill, near Basildon, Essex, where they await eviction
Traveller children climb on scaffolding erected at Dale Farm travellers' site at Cray's Hill, near Basildon, Essex, where they await eviction
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PLANNERS have acted to prevent a Dale Farm-style permanent gypsy camp springing up on a borough site.

They have put a ring of stone slabs around the land which has been repeatedly targeted by travellers during the year.

The obstructions will allow dog walkers and legal users access to Mosley Common while barring caravans from entering.

The move follows a campaign from ward councillors Barry Taylor and Brendan Bowen and community activist Joanne Platt backed by their MP Andy Burnham.

They had given residents assurances that they would take action after outrage over the amount of rubbish - along with tyre track damage - caused to the common and neighbouring Bridgewater Road playing fields.

Both councillors ensured that council bosses took immediate steps to enforce their removal through court action.

But with several visits to the open land by traveller families and vehicles over the summer, they demanded a permanent barrier to restrict access.

Coun Bowen said that the repeated return of travellers to the site this summer plus the scale of the litter left behind required speedy action. He said: “I am pleased that permanent barriers will protect these sites from further occupation and save tax-payers’ cash.”

A spokesman for Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust said: “Boulders have been placed around the site which should prevent any further incidents like those seen earlier this year.”