Calls for more power to stop ‘unathorised encampments’ in Norfolk

Hunstanton
Hunstanton

Officials in Norfolk are calling for greater powers to act in relation to unathorised encampments after a seaside town went into “lockdown” last weekend.

North Norfolk District Council has written to the Government to ask for more jurisdiction when travellers and other groups set up encampments which provide Temporary Stopping Places (TSPs).

It comes after officers reported “low-level anti-social behaviour” in Cromer.

At present, the council can issues a direction to leave notice, but if this is not complied with, the council has to go to court to obtain an order to be able to take enforcement 
action.

In West Norfolk, a businessman has called for clearer legislation on the matter.

Jason Smith, owner of Candy ’n’ Cream sweetshop and Supafry fish and chip shop in Hunstanton has claimed that tourists flocked out of the town last week after “extensive damage and disturbances”.

Mr Smith voiced his frustrations in an open letter to North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham.

He claims the disruption was caused by travellers who came to a resort in the area.

Mr Smith said he believes there was a “lack of action” by police, and alleges that there was an “exodus of holiday makers” and others following the apparent disturbances.

“The solution is probably new, clearer legislation – properly enforced,” he added.

However, in a report to Hunstanton Town Council last Friday, Temporary Inspector John Bane said: “Travelling families staying at Manor Park were there legally. There was nothing to suggest that they were in town for a wedding or that they were likely to be joined by a larger group.”

A member of a business group in the town said there was “a lot of rumour but not a lot of substance” that he was aware of to the apparent disturbances.

The Lynn News contacted Manor Park for comment, but this had not been received at the time of going to press.