From the Dorset Echo
THREE separate groups of |Travellers have set up camp in Dorset over the past few days.
A total of 11 caravans and a number of other vehicles arrived on Prince Charles’ land near the fire station in Poundbury on Tuesday.
The group has been given until the end of the week to leave by landowner the Duchy of Cornwall and bailiffs served an eviction notice for the land to be vacated today.
A spokesman for the Duchy said: “One of our representatives has spoken to the Travellers and they have indicated they will leave by the end of the week.”
This time last year, Travellers caused uproar among Poundbury residents when they set up camp on the development’s Great Field.
Margaret Morrissey, of the Dorchester Residents Association, said residents want the group to move on.
She said: “These Travellers are within a few feet of people’s houses.
“The residents want them to move on as quickly as possible because you don’t want them on your doorstep.
“We don’t want them there, we all know they will cause a mess and leave a mess.
“Their children are disruptive and they have quite a few children with them in this group, as they always do.”
Earlier this week, two traveller groups also arrived in a field near Puddletown and at another location in Bovington.
Dorchester inspector Les Fry said: “We are aware that there are a number of travellers in the area at the moment, there are around four or five sites that have appeared over the last week.
“The group at Poundbury has not caused any problems, we have no concerns.
“When this happens on private land the circumstance is for the landowner to deal with it and take any action they feel is appropriate.”
He added: “Some travellers do cause problems but many don’t and it’s unfortunate for those who are doing nothing wrong.
“We have had no complaints at all in relation to this group.”
Dave Ayre, Dorset County Council’s head of countryside, said: “Dorset always experiences an increase in unauthorised encampments by Gypsies and Travellers during the summer months.
“For example the numbers last year peaked at 19, dropping to 11 when the Great Dorset Steam Fair Transit site opened and going down to eight during the winter months.
“There are presently several groups of Irish Travellers on private land.
“The county council has planning permission to provide a temporary transit site which will open before the Olympics torch enters Dorset and will close following the Paralympics in September.
“This will allow Dorset Police to use their powers to direct travellers to the authorised sites and is being established to help prevent unauthorised encampments from disrupting the Olympic transport routes and the park and ride sites.
“This will be in addition to the Steam Fair Transit site, which will open as usual in August.”
Derek James, Dorset Fire and Rescue assistant chief officer, said: “As always our first and foremost priority is to ensure that we can respond to incidents and that our operational resources are not compromised.
“This is currently the case at Dorchester fire station and we are liaising with the police, the Duchy and Dorset County Council to ensure this continues.”