Travellers remain at a field near the Coventry Building Society Arena in Longford – to the frustration of locals who say the area would normally be busy on the Bank Holiday. It is understood they first arrived on the grassland on Saturday (April 30) morning.

Locals say the group were escorted out of Miners Welfare Park in Bedworth and are believed to have travelled to Coventry to set up camp. One local resident said there were measures in place to prevent access by vehicles.

Another nearby resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told CoventryLive : “They are still there.

READ MORE:Plans submitted to redevelop Traveller site in Coventry left in ‘poor condition’ after years of neglect

“I was expecting to see lots of residents out there this Bank Holiday, kids playing football and having picnics as they normally do. But they are not really able to do so.”

She added: “It is a bit unfair to the residents in my opinion.”

Tory Councillor Peter Male said: “As a Woodlands ward councillor I am pleased that the council have finally responded to our calls to make the land off Sutton Avenue secure. However, it would appear that the endless game of cat and mouse is set to continue throughout the summer, across the city, as a further encampment is established near to the CBS Arena.

“I continue to call upon Coventry City Council to develop a long-term, sustainable approach, in conjunction with West Midlands Police, to tackle the issue of illegal encampments. Measures might include the use of a city-wide injunction, a transit site, a permanent site and regular communication with the traveller community.”

Each unauthorised encampment costs the taxpayer on average at least £1,340 to remove, according to figures released last year. It is understood Coventry City Council has spent £229,730 removing the encampments over the previous five years.

Coventry also has its own designated site for the Traveller community. However, this has been left in ‘poor condition’ after years of neglect.

Plans are currently in place to redevelop the site on Siskin Drive in Toll Bar End. Working with Coventry City Council, Rooftop Housing Association hopes to demolish the existing brick structures and erect 12 new permanent pitches for the Traveller community.

Coventry City Council and West Midlands Police have been approached for comment.





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