Jonathan Sumption, co-owner with his brother Gideon, of Foxmoor Business Park, is counting the cost of travellers entering his field alongside the A38 which they have occupied since last weekend. The travellers are about to be issued with a court order on Friday 1st May which requires them to vacate the site or be evicted by bailiffs. Applying for a court order has already cost Foxmoor owners £3,000 and they will incur further expense if bailiffs have to be brought in.
This is the third time travellers have invaded land at Foxmoor and now Jonathan Sumption says he will have to plough the field to prevent further invasions. He said, “What I think is tragic is that we’ve tried to make this site look like parkland. We’ve planted trees and made it look nice as you come towards Wellington. Now it won’t look like that any more.”
The travellers entered the site last week by cutting through the chain securing the gate. Whilst the police were called no arrests could be made as there were no witnesses to the forced entry. Since then the field itself has been damaged by vehicles – including children riding quad bikes – driving across it. “I had to get a possession order as they were fly-tipping all their rubbish,” Mr Sumption added. “The police said they couldn’t do anything about it as the travellers were in sight of it so it hadn’t been abandoned. The cost is massive and we can’t do anything about it. We can never retrieve the money and cannot insure against it.”
Monument Fuels on Foxmoor, adjacent to the travellers’ site, has been broken into this week and fuel taken from the company’s lorries. “It’s difficult to sleep at night when you worry that things will go missing,” Mr Sumption said. “It’s just diabolical the way the law is written that somebody can break into and enter your field, completely ruin it and then you have to spend a minimum of £3,000 to get rid of them.”
One traveller said, “We’ll be gone by next week. Because it’s the weekend and then a Bank Holiday we’ve got until then to leave.”