Traveller incursion

Travellers at Horn Street recreation ground

24 July 2018

We have received a notice of the hearing which is listed for 30 July 2018 at 10am at Canterbury County Court, although the court warns that the hearing time and date can be changed at short notice. We have arranged for service of the claim, witness statement and the Notice of Hearing on the trespassers and today we gave the papers to a process server in that relation. We have also arranged to hire a barrister to present our case to the county court.

Some residents are understandably asking how long all this will take, but it is difficult to say. How long it takes will depend on how busy the bailiffs office is but it may take several weeks. We will be asking to make an oral application for permission to use High Court bailiffs instead of county court ones which would speed things up.

23 July 2018

Hythe’s PCSO visited the site on Monday. We are awaiting news.

20 July 2018

The travellers who arrived at Horn Street recreation ground last Sunday are still there, despite being asked to leave. The council’s solicitor has asked Canterbury County Court to serve a claim of possession on the travellers.

Hythe Town Council is using Part 55 Civil Procedure Rules because section 77 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 is only available to local authorities (such as the district council), not town or parish councils.

The council has asked the court to use its power to shorten the normal time periods for a hearing of the claim, because the council believes the defendants have caused serious damage, specifically to the gate.

If you experience anti-social behaviour as a result of this unlawful incursion you should call Kent Police on their non-emergency 101 number. Calls to 101 (from both landlines and mobile networks) cost 15 pence per call, no matter what time of day you call, or how long you are on the phone.

17 July 2018

Travellers gained access to Horn Street recreation ground on the afternoon of Sunday 15th July. The lock, gate and gate post were in good condition, but the gate post appears to have been forcibly bent sideways on the same day, which meant the gate could then swing open. The travellers could then drive their vehicles and caravans onto the land. They are currently parked at the top of the slope by the picnic tables.

Residents may be aware that Hawkinge and New Romney town councils have recently had to evict unauthorised encampments from their land, and there have also been evictions from Folkestone and Hythe District Council land. The legal circumstances are different in each case, and the process and time it takes to retake possession varies.

Hythe Town Council is working with Kent Police, Folkestone and Hythe District Council and Hythe Town Council’s solicitor to move the travellers on. Hythe Town Council is using Part 55 Civil Procedures Rules to regain possession.

The council is well aware of the distress and anxiety that this incursion is causing to residents in Horn Street and Seabrook. We are doing what we can to remove this unauthorised encampment.

In the meantime, if you become aware of any antisocial behaviour as a result of this intrusion, please report it to Kent Police on their website at www.kent.police.uk/services/report-a-crime/online/location-check/ or call their non-emergency 101 number, quoting incident number 16-0445.