From the Herald Express
TEMPERS are running high after a group of Travellers set up camp on Churston Common.
About a dozen caravans have moved onto the land (pictured) between Brixham and Paignton, much to the anger of residents.
The group arrived in town over a week ago and briefly settled at Clennon Valley before moving to the Torbay Council car park at Broadsands.
There was a stand-off between the group and a local farmer before it seemed an agreement to move on had been reached. But instead of moving some families travelled a short way down Brixham Road where boulders were removed.
Local farmer Richard Haddock has accused the council of hoping the problem goes away.
He said: "Several residents have phoned Torbay Council but they have done nothing.
"A lot of people are getting pretty upset. This has happened every year for the last eight years, two or three times.
"The ratepayers are left to pick up the bill each time."
He said that if residents were to dig up stones with pickaxes or park on the common they would be held to account.
He said there may be grounds for a complaint to the local authority ombudsman.
A local businessman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "It is getting to the stage now where people are fed up with the council for their lack of action.
"They are supposed to be working for the community. I don't know if it's because they have got their hands tied by the law or what but no action gets taken."
A Torbay Council spokesperson said: "There are currently three unauthorised encampments on council land in Torbay.
"There are about 14 caravans as well as several associated vehicles in Broadsands car park. Two encampments are on land at Churston Ferrers, where there are about 14 caravans and associated vehicles.
"Unfortunately, it is not a simple case of asking them to leave. The council is required to follow strict legislation when dealing with unauthorised campers or could be subject to heavy fines.
"We will now be seeking a possession order from the courts, which could be as early as tomorrow for the Broadsands site. This will allow us to take action and remove them from the car park.
"We understand that this can be extremely frustrating for those living in the area. However, it is essential that we follow the correct legislation set by government and we are doing this as quickly as possible.
He added: "We have been made aware of an alleged incident involving dogs at Broadsands on Tuesday. We have not received any formal complaint so we are not aware of the full details."
Some Travellers had also stopped over the weekend in Newton Abbot settling on land owned by mineral firm Sibelco in Newton Abbot.
Up to 10 were thought to have moved onto land at Jetty Marsh near the hospital, having accessed it from the housing development.
A Sibelco spokesman said: "We took the necessary action to move them and they did."