Police and bailiffs surround old gas works as they evict 75 travellers

Dozens of police officers and bailiffs surround old gas works as they begin eviction of 75 travellers from ‘illegal’ encampment

  • They were involved in a stand-off after the travellers were given a notice to leave
  • A nursery urged parents to keep their children at home after the fallout in Bristol
  • It comes nearly a year after travellers resisted being evicted from the same place

Dozens of police officers and bailiffs have surrounded an old gas works as they try to evict 75 travellers from an ‘illegal’ encampment.

They were involved in a stand-off after the group were given a 24-hour notice to leave at 12pm on Tuesday.

A nearby nursery urged parents to keep their children at home for their own safety following the spat at Eastville camp in Bristol.

It comes nearly a year after travellers resisted being evicted from the same place last June 13.

A nursery nearby even had to urge parents to keep their children at home for their own safety following the spat at Eastville camp in Bristol

They were issued with a 24-hour eviction notice at 12pm on May 18 but had requested more time to make alternative arrangements

It comes nearly a year after travellers resisted being evicted from the same place last June 13

One of the group today, called Bill, chained himself to a fence. He told Bristol Live: ‘There’s been no care for us.’

The road has been closed this morning with police officers guarding a barrier, and several police vans and cars are also blocking access.

Landowner Wales & West Utilities say the group, understood to have moved in a few weeks ago, are ‘illegally occupying’ the site.

They were issued with a 24-hour eviction notice at 12pm on May 18 but had requested more time to make alternative arrangements.

A witness on the scene reported the angry group were heard shouting: ‘You’re helping evict children.’

One woman, who was a local resident and not thought to be a traveller, said: ‘I don’t understand quite how much kerfuffle is going on for just some innocent people that are living there.’

The road has been closed this morning with police officers guarding a barrier, and several police vans and cars are also blocking access

The travellers said earlier this week: ‘We do not want to be left with no choice but to resist.’

”At around midday on May 18, two bailiffs accompanied by police liaison officers met with site representatives at the gate and explained that they would be returning 24 hours later on May 19 with the aim of evicting all those still present.

‘Representatives for the residents asked for a compromise requesting more time to ensure that vehicles on site can be moved safely in a timely organised manner. We do not want to be left with no choice but to resist the eviction.

‘We as group are simply looking for a safe, sensibly located area in which to live without harming other local residents or negatively impacting on the environment.’

Richard Williams, Wales & West estates surveyor, also said this week: ‘We have received planning permission, and construction is scheduled to start this month.

‘All individuals currently trespassing have been instructed to leave the area by court order received on May 6.

The groups were involved in a stand-off after the travellers were given a 24-hour notice to leave at 12pm on Tuesday

‘Since then, everyone living on the site has had the opportunity to make alternative arrangements and leave.

‘We would urge them to do so peacefully so work can begin on site to build essential infrastructure to support communities right across Bristol.’

He added: ‘We will work alongside the appropriate authorities until this matter is resolved.’

Avon and Somerset Police said: ‘An eviction is taking place in Glenfrome Road today (Thu 20 May), which may lead to some disruption in the local area.

‘The primary action is being taken by bailiffs on behalf of a private landowner. Police are in attendance to prevent a breach of the peace.

‘Road closures are in place and a diversion set up. Access to the school will be maintained but we apologise for any disruption.’

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