Travellers' eviction descends into '˜farce'

Residents are facing a fresh travellers headache - after an encampment moved less than 100 yards down the road.

Monday, 18th September 2017, 10:59 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 11:46 am
The travellers in Lowton

People living in Crankwood had complained after up to a dozen caravans and cars descended on Tinsley Park Way around two weeks ago.

Council bosses in Wigan and Taylor Wimpey have been in dispute over who owned the land, just yards from the multi-million pound Pennington Wharf development.

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Police visiting travellers at the Lamberhead Industrial Estate

Finally this week an eviction notice was served and bailiffs arrived to escort the travellers off the access road.

But the vehicles have now ended up at nearby at Riley Bank Road, where they had only recently been previously located, leaving neighbours in despair.

Sam Dunlop, who lives on Crankwood Road, said: “The whole thing is truly laughable - but not for the residents of Crankwood. Now the eviction procedure will have to start again. We expect that the earliest anything will happen is Tuesday or Wednesday now.”

Neighbours are also unhappy at the state the land has been left in, with a fridge-freezer left on the main road and other debris dumped nearby.

Police visiting travellers at the Lamberhead Industrial Estate

Another previous camp was established on a children’s play area earlier in the summer, and there have also been reports of a further travellers site on Plank Lane.

Businesses, meanwhile, have expressed frustration about a separate group of travellers who spent several days on a car park on the Lamberhead Industrial Estate, Orrell.

The group moved off the site after being visited by police last Monday. Firms on the Kilshaw Street site accused them of anti-social behaviour and expressed frustration at how long they had stayed there. John Barton, owner of Safelok, said: “I saw them trying to a kick a door down and staff at some of the units have been petrified.”

Wigan Council said it could not get involved at Orrell because the travellers were on private land.

But Paul Barton, assistant director for environmental services, said: “The Riley Bank Road site is council-owned and we have begun the eviction process. After a productive meeting with Taylor Wimpey, we have agreed to work together to put further measures in place to help safeguard this and adjacent land at Tinsley Park Way against further encampments.”

A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said: “We are working together with Wigan Council to discuss a resolution and agree a collaborative way forward to the benefit of the community.”