Travellers set up camp on Weston's Beach Lawns

Travellers on the Beach Lawns in Weston.

Travellers on the Beach Lawns in Weston. - Credit: Nick Page Hayman

A group of travellers pitched up on Weston's Beach Lawns over the weekend.

North Somerset Council has contacted Avon and Somerset Constabulary and asked officers to remove the encampment urgently.

If the police do not act, the council will start formal proceedings to remove the travellers.

On his Facebook page, councillor Mike Bell, the authority's deputy leader, said: "I am aware that there is an unauthorised encampment of around a dozen vehicles on the Beach Lawns. They have been asked to leave the land and the police have been notified.

"I have contacted the police to ask them to act to remove the encampment with all urgency. The Beach Lawns is an important public amenity space and I am concerned that the encampment will damage the economy and impact the use of the space.

"For example, I am already aware of concerns from the TV camera crew that is about to start filming a sitcom in the area and from other seafront businesses.

"If the police do not act - and I hope they will - the council will need to start formal proceedings to remove the encampment. This includes welfare checks and getting a Magistrates Court order.

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"The council will not hesitate to do this, but I hope the police will use their powers to act without delay due to the community impact."

The council has adopted a number of measures to prevent unauthorised encampments over the past year, including strengthening security at parks and car parks.

New height restriction barriers were installed at Melrose car park last summer after a group of travellers left piles of excrement and human waste in the facility when they left.

More: New barriers at seafront car park to deter travellers.

The Beach Lawns has been fenced off by North Somerset Council to prevent nuisance parking and to enable the authority to open up the lawns on limited occasions for overflow parking.

However, the fencing did not deter the travellers who drove onto the seafront beauty spot over the weekend.

Cllr Bell added: "I am pleased that the council has taken steps this past year to improve measures to prevent unauthorised encampments including strengthening security at parks and car parks.

"It is more challenging to develop a solution for the Beach Lawns as it is such a large area with numerous access points and the need to maintain access for the public and events. We're working on it."

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