Businesses band together as festival leaves Cheddar

A number of nearby businesses have closed as a result of the crowd.

Cheddar businesses have rallied together after the arrival of a traveller festival, likening the response to the Covid pandemic. - Credit: Submitted

Cheddar Chamber of Commerce (CoC) said the disruption caused by travellers' arrival in the village this week has sparked a community response similar to the Covid pandemic.

More than 100 caravans arrived in a field opposite Draycott Park on Monday. They are expected to leave today (Friday).

Avon and Somerset Constabulary is now monitoring the situation after reports of anti-social behaviour and vandalism. 

Cheddar's CoC is made up of a network of businesses in the area designed to improve the quality of life for its community. However, a spokesman confirmed that many companies in the area have been negatively impacted by the travellers' arrival this week.

They said: "There have been up to 15 businesses affected by the travellers' arrival and their subsequent actions.

"Pubs, restaurants and other stores have voluntarily closed, with one store reporting a loss of 70 per cent in custom.

"However, we have rallied together, as we did when the coronavirus outbreak struck, and some businesses have reopened with restrictions in place to prevent disruption."

"We plan to be back to normal for the summer bank holiday coming up. In 10 days time, Cheddar's businesses will have their biggest day of the year."

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Residents have told the Mercury that a steady stream of vehicles has begun to exit the site, as planned. 

Police confirmed they would carry out 'reassurance patrols' after reports of vandalism in the area, while Cheddar Chamber of Commerce expects compensation from the ordeal.

The spokesman added: "There will be a need for compensation when this has been resolved. We will be looking into how to compensate each business that has suffered as a result of this."

Sedgemoor District Council told the Mercury that it was unaware of the travellers' arrival for an event named Tent Revival, although it would not have required planning permission as the festival is on private land.

A spokesman said: "The district council understands that the organisers have the permission of the landowner for use of the land for the purpose of the event."

The Mercury has approached the landowner of the field where the festival is taking place for comment, but they have declined.

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