Leicester

Travellers banned from empty land

A Leicestershire council has banned travellers from land near Lutterworth even though no one is camped there.

Harborough District Council said the injunction for Mere Farm would ensure the property was not used illegally.

Matt Brindley, of the Irish Traveller Movement, said the injunction may be legal but that travellers had "nowhere else to go".

He said there was a severe shortage of sites in the county, but the county council has denied this.

Harborough District Councillor Colin Golding said there had already been problems with travellers illegally occupying the land in the past.

He said it often took a long time to get an injunction, so the council had decided to take action now.

A Leicestershire County Council spokesman said there was an adequate number of sites for the 1,500 travelleres in the county with a total of 27 authorised sites and 300 pitches accessible to travellers.

The spokesman said it worked with the district and borough councils to make sure that enough traveller sites were provided.

"Last year, the County Council joined forces with other authorities, the police and health service, to create a new team to deal with unauthorised camps more effectively."

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