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3rd Jul, 2022

Travellers trespass on KES playing fields again

TRAVELLERS have again set up camp on school playing fields in Stratford.

A fence was broken down before four caravans set up camp on the King Edward VI School sports field on Sunday night (April 21).

It is believed more have arrived since.

Bailiffs have been called and it is hoped the travellers will be evicted later today.

The school put in a planning application to Stratford District Council to put up a stronger fence after a break-in attempt at the Manor Road site last month.

But the council has confirmed the school must first get permission before putting up another fence because of the potential impact on the grade II listed sports pavilion – which has been subjected to vandalism including arson – in the past. The pavilion, which headmaster Bennet Carr confirmed had been broken into once again, is located more than 100 metres from the fence.

A council spokeswoman said: “The council has not denied a fence to the school, but instead has correctly advised of the need to seek planning permission.

“Such a planning application would enable the council to properly conduct a local consultation exercise and assess the planning merits of such a scheme.”

Mr Carr said they had submitted the plans a month ago and were still waiting for a response on what type of fence would be acceptable.

He added: “We’re really frustrated. The odds are stacked against law abiding land owners.

“It seems to me it’s a get out of jail card to remove someone’s fence, trespass and break into the pavilion.

“There’s broken glass everywhere and we’ll need to clear it up before the pupils return next week.

“And at the moment the groundsman can’t go down there to work. As far as I’m concerned it’s not safe.”

A six foot gate was installed after travellers set up camp on the land last August, but the current fencing, which is only three feet high, offers only limited deterrence to trespassers.

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