We learnt with some concern this week that travellers had broken into the area behind the old fire station, just off Harpenden Road. It was fenced off and locked, but force had been used to gain entry.
After a visit by the police and Richard Fyfe, Director – Real Estate Advisory, Lambert Smith Hampton, the HCC Legal Team was instructed to seek possession. In the event it was not necessary, for the travellers had moved on as of Saturday, 3 June, leaving behind a large amount of rubbish (see below). The council will be improving the security of the site.
Eviction, if it had come to that, is not a simple process as Richard Fyfe told us. Possession orders need welfare checks, court appointments, serving of notices and ultimately the appointment of bailiffs if they do not move on. There are human rights issues to consider as well.
If the original fencing was like that in the photos below with a heavy concrete slab, then it would not have been difficult to get into the site.
Photos: PC, MN