Travellers set up camp on former Beeches site
Travellers will not be moved from Beeches site until Monday, the site's owner confirms.
Eight vans parked up on the former Beeches restaurant car park on School Lane in Standish overnight on Wednesday, sparking concerns among local residents.
At lunchtime on Friday, October 27, there were reports that the travellers had moved on by police escort but a post from Alanna Fairall, who works for the site owner, has confirmed that the bailiffs will not be coming until Monday.
"Unfortunately, we've had some rather bad news," she said. "The bailiffs are not able to attend until Monday due to staff shortages. Obviously this isn't the news any of us wanted but it's out of our hands at this point.
"We have instructed 24 hour security to patrol the property, which includes a guard dog. We have also received the full support of the local police in this matter. Please be rest assured that we are doing everything we can and I'm sorry I can't give you better news this afternoon."
The site, which is owned by Albert’s Shed Ltd, a Manchester-based company specialising in gastro pubs and bars located in and around the city. However the growing chain has not confirmed its involvement at this stage.
Coun George Fairhurst, Standish ward representative, has voiced his fears of “rubbish” which may be left at the site if and when the group is moved on.
Residents have already approached the council and the police to report the group, however the town hall website states that it is the responsibility of the landowner to arrange the removal of any travellers.
“We don’t need this in Standish,” said Coun Fairhurst. “I’m not saying they should be somewhere else. If and when they leave or get moved on, I’m worried there will be rubbish left everywhere.
“We don’t want an eyesore in the middle of Standish, it’s in quite a prominent place.
“I have had very concerned residents on the phone to me. We will be keeping an eye on it. As far as shifting them on goes, I’m not sure what will happen. It’s private land.
“We have informed the chief executive of the council and police so we will see where it goes from there. It’s certainly something we don’t need here.”
People are unsure as to how the group managed to gain access to the site, whose entrance was formerly guarded by large concrete blocks. It is believed that these were moved either by the group themselves, or by builders who needed to get on the site to begin work.
The council website has been updated to display the most recent traveller encampments in the borough, which now includes the site at the Beeches as well as a car park on Leigh’s West Bridgewater Street.
A spokesperson from the town hall said: “As the land is privately owned, the landlord has been contacted and advised on the removal process.”
Community group, Standish Voice, is warning people not to take matters into their own hands and leave the proper authorities to deal with the travellers in an appropriate way.
A spokesperson for the group said: “It is worrying I know, but sometimes the most worrying thing is some members of the community confronting them. It is usually safer to let the authorities deal with the situation and remain vigilant.”