An application by Wrexham Council for a Court order to remove the travellers from Alyn Waters was granted by Wrexham Magistrates this afternoon.
Last Friday the Council served a notice to the travellers directing them to leave the site. The Council said: “If the Travellers do not leave the site the next course of action open to WCBC is to apply to the Magistrates court for an order to leave the site.” This application was delayed due to not completing the relevant paperwork using information from third party agencies, namely a health assessment.
This afternoon the Court heard that the travellers gained unauthorised access to the land by cutting through security chains.
Wrexham Magistrates granted the order saying they were in agreement that due process has been followed.
The Council will now serve the Order granted by the Magistrates today – and once served the travellers will have 24 hours to leave the site. The Council have told Wrexham.com they will review the situation again after 24 hours.
The Court was told that travellers had been moving ‘from one site to another over the last month’, however this was the first time this movement involved council owned land.
It is believed 24 adults were resident on the site in a number of caravans and vehicles totaling over thirty in number. There was also a total of 16 caravans on the land when they arrived last week.
The health assessment, which delayed today’s application, was outlined in accordance with Home Office guidelines and the statement is said to contain ‘nothing controversial’.
The Council has visited the site several times, and this morning visited to circulate statements, with the court being told by WCBC’s Gypsy & Traveller Liaison Officer “Everyone was aware what was going on.” The first request to for the travellers to leave was sent last week. It was said that by August 21 it was clear that the travellers would not leave without action being enforced.
Housing and Estate Manager for the Council, Mr Russell Jones said: “Last Thursday at 8:50am, I served a direction to leave to all families on the site.”
Mr Jones added that when he returned to the site later on for further questions, everyone was happy with the notice.
Park Ranger for Wrexham Council, Richard Aram said: “I had a phone call on Monday morning on August 19th about travellers seen on the Llay side of the park.
“I visited straight away and there was damage to the gate. Initial damage was to the gate, park and football field.”
He carried on to say that the “chain, padlock and gatepost” were also damaged. Evidence of fly tipping and general waste has also been found on the site.
Damage to the Llay FC pitches was outlined, with damage caused to pitches by ‘doughnuting’ highlighted along with fires being lit. The Park Ranger’s statement told of high speeds of vehicles leaving the site which ‘he considered to be a danger to public’.
Llay Youth Football Club, who use the pitch for matches have had to cancel a number of games due to the travellers occupying the pitch. Sports coaching which was planned for the park has also been cancelled, along with the Llay Festival which is due to take place this weekend. The festival has now been moved the Llay Legion as a result of the travellers and damage to the pitch. It was also pointed out that general use of the park, which is normally busy over the summer holidays, has also been reduced.
Mr Aaron stated that during there were 12 caravans remaining on the site when he visited this morning.
Speaking about the decision Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships and Collaboration, said: “We welcome this positive decision taken by the magistrates today which is a successful outcome for the council. I would urge those Travellers who have taken up residence on this public land to leave as soon as possible.”
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