Legal loophole could see travellers evicted from beauty spot car park after eight years

Falmouth Packet: Legal loophole could see travellers evicted from beauty spot car park after eight years Legal loophole could see travellers evicted from beauty spot car park after eight years

Traveller vehicles that have blighted a beauty spot car park for eight years could be moved on within 28 days if a legal loophole is proven.

St Keverne Parish Council is looking into whether it would be able to evict the travellers from Coverack’s North Corner car park, if it became tenants.

Cornwall Council, which owns the land, is unable to do so because it has a duty of care to the travellers – but a question mark hangs over whether the same would be true of the parish.

Councillor Anthony Richards said: “Can we find out the legal situation as to us being tenants and evicting them ourselves?

“Just because Cornwall Council has a legal obligation to find sites, if we did lease it, it might be a different story.”

After hearing the parish’s county representative Walter Sanger was looking into this he added: “I would like for us to find out ourselves – is there another avenue we could explore?”

Clerk Mrs Hatton said she was asking Cornwall Council’s solicitor whether the parish had the same duty of care to the travellers as the unitary authority, but had yet to hear back.

If it didn’t, the travellers could potentially be evicted within 28 days.

Members heard that Cornwall Council had money for a dedicated traveller site, but it had to be spent by April 2015.

The parish council had been asked by a resident living behind the car park to “put pressure” on Cornwall Council to get the money spent, before it was withdrawn next April.

Clerk Grace Hatton said the unitary authority was meant to have different sites in mind, but it had yet to announce the locations.

Chairman Roger Combe reminded members that the parish was supposed to have received a report from Cornwall Council last October saying what was being done about identifying replacement sites and moving the travellers.

Councillor Bill Frisken said: “I think we want to put pressure on them, even if just to say we understand there’s money available until next year.”

He described the top section of the car park, which is in three levels, as now “absolutely chock-a-block” with mobile homes, claiming: “They’re not mobile homes, they’re not travellers – they don’t travel.”

Mr Frisken added: “There are so many mobile homes on the top part of the car park the travellers are having to park their vehicles – the ones that actually move – down on the next stage, taking up even more room in the car park.

“The people in the parish are just getting heartily fed up with it.”

Councillors agreed to write a letter pushing the county’s legal team for an answer, with Mr Frisken pointing out: If we asked the legal department at Cornwall Council about this then they jolly well ought to answer. That’s what they’re paid for!”

The travellers have been living on the car park since August 2006.

Comments (7)

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8:58am Fri 9 May 14

Gill Z Martin says...

I believe Cornwall Council as the land owners, could evict the 'travellers' on the basis of trespass, it is a separate issue from their duty to provide x amount of static or transient pitches. I think Cornwall Council are paying more adherence to the political side rather than legalities.

I do not know which legal advice Cornwall Council engage but I would be enclined to use Baker and McKenzie.
I believe Cornwall Council as the land owners, could evict the 'travellers' on the basis of trespass, it is a separate issue from their duty to provide x amount of static or transient pitches. I think Cornwall Council are paying more adherence to the political side rather than legalities. I do not know which legal advice Cornwall Council engage but I would be enclined to use Baker and McKenzie. Gill Z Martin
  • Score: 7

1:01pm Fri 9 May 14

Gill Z Martin says...

Previous post should read inclined not enclined.
Previous post should read inclined not enclined. Gill Z Martin
  • Score: 9

3:41pm Fri 9 May 14

victoriameldrew says...

Gill Z Martin wrote:
Previous post should read inclined not enclined.
you do make me smile - like me - it has to be correct
[quote][p][bold]Gill Z Martin[/bold] wrote: Previous post should read inclined not enclined.[/p][/quote]you do make me smile - like me - it has to be correct victoriameldrew
  • Score: 6

8:32pm Fri 9 May 14

Helston fly on the wall says...

So when are the council going to remove the travellers/gypsies from our car park in Helston? The huge tent like structure they've erected looks like a fire/ health and safety hazard to me, and no one else would be able to have a tent that size for that long in one place without planning permission I bet.

Do all travellers/gypsies just pick a place they fancy to live on other people's land/car parks and stay there.?
So when are the council going to remove the travellers/gypsies from our car park in Helston? The huge tent like structure they've erected looks like a fire/ health and safety hazard to me, and no one else would be able to have a tent that size for that long in one place without planning permission I bet. Do all travellers/gypsies just pick a place they fancy to live on other people's land/car parks and stay there.? Helston fly on the wall
  • Score: 9

9:44pm Fri 9 May 14

Gill Z Martin says...

Helston fly on the wall wrote:
So when are the council going to remove the travellers/gypsies from our car park in Helston? The huge tent like structure they've erected looks like a fire/ health and safety hazard to me, and no one else would be able to have a tent that size for that long in one place without planning permission I bet.

Do all travellers/gypsies just pick a place they fancy to live on other people's land/car parks and stay there.?
In answer to your question. No, I was married to a gypsy (which was certainly a culture shock for me) but we chose to live in a house.

Incidentally, I was approached by someone claiming to be a gypsy on Flora Day in Helston, she asked me if I wanted my palm read or if I wanted to buy a lucky charm, I politely declined, (I had no money on me at the time anyway) pointing out that I was married to a gypsy for 23 years, and last time I bought a lucky charm my husband died!

I am all for live and let live, but not on other people's land unofficially.
I would be interested to see how quickly the council would respond if a group of travellers set up camp on the proposed site for the new council offices!
[quote][p][bold]Helston fly on the wall[/bold] wrote: So when are the council going to remove the travellers/gypsies from our car park in Helston? The huge tent like structure they've erected looks like a fire/ health and safety hazard to me, and no one else would be able to have a tent that size for that long in one place without planning permission I bet. Do all travellers/gypsies just pick a place they fancy to live on other people's land/car parks and stay there.?[/p][/quote]In answer to your question. No, I was married to a gypsy (which was certainly a culture shock for me) but we chose to live in a house. Incidentally, I was approached by someone claiming to be a gypsy on Flora Day in Helston, she asked me if I wanted my palm read or if I wanted to buy a lucky charm, I politely declined, (I had no money on me at the time anyway) pointing out that I was married to a gypsy for 23 years, and last time I bought a lucky charm my husband died! I am all for live and let live, but not on other people's land unofficially. I would be interested to see how quickly the council would respond if a group of travellers set up camp on the proposed site for the new council offices! Gill Z Martin
  • Score: 8

8:03am Sat 10 May 14

DCI Jen says...

I think Cornwall Council are just avoiding the issue because they don't want the hassle, publicity or expense. The travellers were evicted from Dale Farm in Essex after ten years, I think if Cornwall Council leave it much longer without challenge, they might not get them out of the car park. Where's the travellers planning permission for their permanent encampment? Just because the council don't provide enough official pitches, doesn't give the travellers the right to pitch up anywhere on a permanent basis without planning permission does it?
Have Cornwall Council even tried to legally remove them? Freedom of information act request would be good.
Where are all these official sites they're supposed to be opening, or don't they want the hassle with local opposition. I reckon if you offered them an official pitch they wouldn't all take it because they'd have to pay, I think you're being taken for a ride Cornwall Council, and I speak as someone whose father was a traveller and his whole family both his father and mothers side, so I know exactly what a nuisance travellers can be. Try keeping the toilets with water supply locked all year.
So what happens if travellers take over a council car park like Tyack Road or Trengrouse Way Helston, that currently generates high revenue for the council?
Is this not affecting tourism trade in Coverack if there is a lack of parking? Can't the council act for loss of revenue?
I think Cornwall Council are just avoiding the issue because they don't want the hassle, publicity or expense. The travellers were evicted from Dale Farm in Essex after ten years, I think if Cornwall Council leave it much longer without challenge, they might not get them out of the car park. Where's the travellers planning permission for their permanent encampment? Just because the council don't provide enough official pitches, doesn't give the travellers the right to pitch up anywhere on a permanent basis without planning permission does it? Have Cornwall Council even tried to legally remove them? Freedom of information act request would be good. Where are all these official sites they're supposed to be opening, or don't they want the hassle with local opposition. I reckon if you offered them an official pitch they wouldn't all take it because they'd have to pay, I think you're being taken for a ride Cornwall Council, and I speak as someone whose father was a traveller and his whole family both his father and mothers side, so I know exactly what a nuisance travellers can be. Try keeping the toilets with water supply locked all year. So what happens if travellers take over a council car park like Tyack Road or Trengrouse Way Helston, that currently generates high revenue for the council? Is this not affecting tourism trade in Coverack if there is a lack of parking? Can't the council act for loss of revenue? DCI Jen
  • Score: 8

10:23am Tue 13 May 14

Lord Barrington Forbes-Smythe says...

Q: What do solicitors use to unblock their toilets?

A: a legal loo pole.
Q: What do solicitors use to unblock their toilets? A: a legal loo pole. Lord Barrington Forbes-Smythe
  • Score: 1

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