After four years of campaigning, enforcement activity and legal action, an illegal traveller camp has finally been removed from farm land at Charmy Down and the area is being returned to its previous state as farmland. Local Councillors Ian Dewey and Martin Veal (Con, Bathavon North) have described the end of this long-running battle as a “huge relief” for residents in the area, whose quality of life has been seriously disrupted.
Residents of the hamlet north of Bath had long complained that the travellers were blighting their community, causing noise, mess and even violence. The problem started after some travellers bought land on the edge of Charmy Down and set up an illegal camp despite a refusal of planning permission
Conservative Councillors in the area campaigned for the camp to be removed and r a High Court final ruling last year gave permission for the removal of travellers from the site. Following their removal before Christmas, local Councillors arranged for Bath and North East Somerset Council to restore the site to its previous state and remove work which the travellers had illegally undertaken on the site.
Councillor Martin Veal (Con, Bathavon North) said:
“The removal of this traveller camp is a great relief for local residents. My hope is that the residents in the area can now enjoy their scenic surroundings in peace and quiet. It was illegal for travellers to set up camp on this land and the original planning refusal should have been adhered to several years ago, saving all the stress and aggravation to both residents and the Council.”
Fellow Bathavon North Councillor Ian Dewey (Con) added:
“After over 4 years of Planning and Legal action the important aspect now is to get the site restored to the farmland it previously was. We have asked the Council to remove everything that was left behind at the camp which will hopefully bring the land back up to scratch.
“This has been a very protracted problem and the legal costs involved in removing the Travellers has been immense for the Council. The Residents of Charmy Down have been extremely patient over the 4 year period. Their quality of life was greatly disrupted and much stress has been caused . I am very pleased that finally a satisfactory outcome for the people of Charmy Down has been achieved.”