Derbyshire Dales council wins court order to evict unauthorised Travellers from Matlock station car park

Derbyshire Dales District Council moved to force unauthorised Travellers from Matlock station car park today after several weeks of a homeless family’s camp expanding with newcomers.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 6:38 pm

The council had to seek a court order to take action on the site, and permission was granted on Monday, May 24.

On Tuesday, a council spokesman said: “We were granted an order under section 78 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

“The order requires the removal of the vehicles belonging to the Travellers on site, other than those that make up the homeless families.”

The Travellers' encampment at Matlock railway station car park has grown in recent weeks.

They added: “The order is being served on those Travellers today. The council hopes that they will leave the site, as directed by the court.

"If the Travellers do not leave then the council will organise a formal eviction, with the assistance of bailiffs.”

While the council may bring this current chapter to a end, such situations could recur until it resolves the long-running saga over permanent sites where Travellers can pitch up in the district.

The original station car park encampment was permitted for the sake of a family with complex needs to whom the council has a statutory duty to find a home.

Siobhan Spencer, of the Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group, said: “The others who have come her are not related, but I think part of this came from mistaken information going out on social media that this family was under threat.

“I’ve been down to the site and explained that, after a year of lockdown, local traders want people to be able to park here and spend their money in town. I think everybody understands that, and they will move on.”

She added: “Long-term, I think the council needs to consider a transitory site or negotiated stopping for people passing through.

“It’s treated like a political hot potato. It shouldn’t be, but it is, and we all have to keep trying to work together.”

In September, the council greenlit a site in Tansley but has yet to make progress on development work, while another planning application has been submitted for a site in Clifton which the family say would be more suitable.”

Siobhan said: “Clifton was only previously rejected by the council on the grounds of cost, but now we have paid for all the reports, we’ll have to see what they say.”

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