Beckenham residents anger over gypsies
PUBLISHED: 15:33 25 August 2010 | UPDATED: 15:33 25 August 2010
The court service is refusing to take concerns over an unlawful gypsy site seriously, claim residents and councillors.
Scores of homeowners living around Kings Hall Road, Beckenham are growing increasingly worried about the 11 traveller caravans which set up camp in July.
A possession order bid to remove them from the privately-owned disused sports field has been adjourned on several occasions at Bromley County Court including most recently on Friday.
Penge and Cator councillor John Getgood, said: “I have heard from the landowner’s agents and Bromley County Court have still failed to set time aside to make a decision as to whether to grant the possession order. This has now been adjourned on at least two occasions. Until such time the order is granted it is unlikely that the travellers will leave the land.
“Although Bromley council has no direct role to play, I have asked it to use any influence it might have with the court to get this matter prioritised. The courts are certainly not showing themselves in a good light.”
One 66-year-old resident, who has lived in the road for 35 years and wished to remain anonymous, said: “There is rubbish dumped all over the site which is becoming a public health hazard attracting vermin such as rats and foxes.
“It seems to be a lack of priority for the courts. The travellers won’t move on without the possession order. It is very unsightly.
“The site has been left to fall into disrepair for several years. We would like some sort of recreational use for the land- we are not opposed to development on it but it would be good to have something like a cricket pitch or football field.”
Because the land is privately owned Bromley council does not have much clout in ridding the site of its new settlers.
A spokesperson for the council said its officers had contacted the owner of the land to encourage him to seek repossession of the land. She said: “We are concerned about this situation.
“Given this is not our land our powers are limited. However, we are doing all we can to resolve the situation.”
A Bromley County Court spokesman refused to comment.