Wiltshire Publications

Clear up after park was left unsafe for public use

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TRAVELLERS who descended on Vivash Park in Westbury left the site in such a state – including human waste – that it was declared unsafe for public use.

After the group had departed the Slag Lane plot, landowners David Wilson Homes had to close it, arrange specialist cleaning, and put up warning notices alerting the public, while  the town council monitored the situation.

Town mayor cllr Michael Sutton told White Horse News numerous residents had complained to the council about the encampment.

“Over the weekend of 26/27th September a group comprising  26 to 30 caravans moved onto the site, to the consternation of local people who were denied the pleasure of relaxing in the park or walking their pets,” cllr Sutton said. “A number of residents complained to Westbury Town Council, asking for assistance in re-gaining free access to the area.”

Cllr Sutton said because Vivash Park is not owned by the council, it was  the responsibility of David Wilson Homes who built the neighbouring estate to seek removal of the travellers.

“After conversations with the police and David Wilson Homes, the travellers decided to vacate the site and move elsewhere,” he added.

“Unfortunately they left the park in such a state, including human waste, that it [was] considered unsafe for use by the public and pets until it [was] cleaned and sanitised. 

David Wilson Homes assured the council that they were arranging specialist cleaning and the council monitored the situation until the park was once again fit for leisure and enjoyment.

Removal of rubbish from the site started on Wednesday 30th September and a specialist contractor had to be brought in to remove any biohazard.

David Wilson Homes confirmed on Friday 2nd October that their appointed contractor had completed a full clearance of the site.

And cllr Mike Sutton declared the park open and safe to use.

He said, “Westbury council would like to thank David Wilson Homes and the police for their prompt and valued support.”

A Wiltshire Police spokesperson told WhiteHorse News, “Officers were made aware of a number of caravans on private land in Slag Lane, Westbury, during the evening of September 27th. 

“Officers attended the scene and engaged with the group, and identified the landowners. 

“Over the course of the following day we received a number of reports of antisocial behaviour at the site, and a joint site visit was being planned with officers and the landowners – however the caravans and all associated vehicles and people had left the site by the evening of September 29th.”

The latest laws  state that if land is privately owned, police have powers under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to remove trespassers if there are six or more vehicles.

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