Updated statement on traveller encampment in Dinas Powys
Published 29 June 2015
We can confirm that the group of travellers encamped at Bryn-y-Don, Dinas Powys, left the site on Saturday 27 June.
Officers from the Waste Management and Cleansing team cleaned the site on the same day, and it has now been returned to public use.
Throughout the process, the Council has followed the Welsh Government’s guidance, ‘Managing Unauthorised Camping 2013.’ When the travellers first arrived on site on Thursday 18 June, a Liaison Representative from Gypsies and Travellers Wales met with their representative and conducted a site assessment. The Council’s Parks Division then began the process of taking correct legal action to end the unauthorised occupation of the land.
A multi-agency case conference took place on Tuesday 23 June in order that the appropriate decisions and actions could be considered and matters arising from the Gypsies and Travellers Wales site initial assessment be addressed. On the same day, a notice of the council’s intention to take legal proceedings was served on the occupants of the unauthorised land, providing them with an opportunity to vacate the site, without recourse to legal proceedings, by 12 pm on Thursday 25 June.
Unfortunately, this notice was not complied with, and as such officers collated the evidence, and papers were immediately drafted for filing with the Court, in anticipation of an early hearing date. The papers were filed with the Court on Friday 26 June, following which, officers carried out service of sealed copies of the notice of hearing, claim form and supporting evidence, which were placed on site the same day. The travellers vacated the site the next day on Saturday 27 June.
The Council intends to pursue an order to prevent the travellers re-entering the area, and following a hearing this morning, the application will be considered again by the Court at a hearing on Thursday 2 July.
Both entry gates at the site are now shut and double locked, and a vehicle height restriction barrier is expected to be installed within the next week to prevent the site being accessible to travellers in future. Until this time, the site will remain closed to vehicles to ensure it is not reoccupied.
While it is extremely frustrating for residents to have to wait while this process is carried out, there are legal guidelines which must be adhered to in these situations. Gypsy and Traveller groups cannot legally be made to move on without the authority first going through the correct procedures.
We would like to thank the majority of residents for their patience in this matter, and also wish to sincerely thank the Council staff who worked to reclaim the site, cleaned the area, and returned it to public use.