Travellers were evicted today (14 August 2012) from the Belmont Park in the Starbeck area of Harrogate.
As landowners, the council had previously served possession papers on the travellers, as defendants, for a hearing today at 10am. It was not defended and an eviction was ordered.
The County Sheriff attended to execute a writ of possession, to take the land back to the land owner, this was set for midday.
Supporting the Sheriff were the Borough Council’s liaison officer, the local police, to ensure there was not a breach of peace, with around 8 officers attending for 2 hours.
Harrogate-News approached the travellers requesting an interview, but were declined and told that they were going so there was nothing to say.
By 13:20 all vehicles had voluntarily left the park, leaving a single caravan on the edge of the park for later collection. The Sheriff has the option to have the vehicles towed if they are not voluntarily removed.
There was a considerable mess left including a number of gas canisters. It was however notable that around a number of the travellers pitches were tidy and they had taken the time to bag any rubbish.
A local resident, who has asked to remain anonymous commented:
If the Council had but up a barrier then it wouldn’t have happened, there’s a single entry way so it would be relatively easy.
They arrived with just a few caravans and then within 3 days there was 10, my grandchildren couldn’t play out all week because of it.
There was often a lot of noise and we even saw a child driving a car.