A small tented camp has set up on the vacant site at the corner of Chapel Road & Knights Hill.
This land is privately owned and has remained vacant after the council turned down developers’ plans for a cash carry and function suite. Apparently the owner has spoken to the campers and is not pursuing eviction for the time being. The local police have also met the campers but as they are not committing a criminal offence the police cannot take any direct action. It is up to the owner to use the courts to evict the campers.
There are concerns about the rubbish and fires on the site and the council is responding to complaints from neighbours. Although the council does not own the land, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, it does have powers to act on environmental problems such as rubbish, noise, smoke & human waste. The process involves the council issuing an enforcement notice on the owner who will then be given a couple of weeks to take action. If necessary the notice can then be followed up with a fixed penalty fine.
The campers say they intend to clear up much of the rubbish that has accumulated over the years and create a garden on the site.