Traveler deportations begin in Derbyshire car park
Travelers have started to be evacuated from a Derbyshire car park where they have been camping for months.
Derbyshire Dales District Council has started the process of moving travelers from the car park outside Matlock station.
A dozen caravans have been parked there since the start of the year, and the number rose to around 20 by mid-May.
Many of the travelers who had settled at the site left on Wednesday, May 26, but those the council has a legal obligation to help are allowed to stay.
Council officials began proceeding with the deportation following a request for a court order under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 on Monday, May 24.
However, there are a number of families on the site who are classified as homeless. The board has a duty to host them until a permanent solution is available.
A council spokesperson said: “The eviction was peaceful, with a number of travelers leaving before the eviction itself.
“The rest left during the day, under the supervision of council officers, supported by bailiffs.
“As always on these occasions, the Council also protected vulnerable sites around the district during the eviction, in order to prevent the creation of new settlements.
“Expulsions like this are a team effort and involve the work of many sections of the Council as well as the support of the judicial officers and the police and thanks are due to all those involved.”
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A permanent site had been suggested on Knabhall Lane, Tansley, but the issue has been controversial for local residents of the area, and families themselves have expressed a desire to move to an area in Ashbourne.
The dispute over Matlock Station has sparked a nationwide debate, with former West Derbyshire Tory MP Matthew Parris writing an article for The Times claiming “there is no place for travelers” in the Great Modern Brittany.
His views have been challenged by various groups, including the Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group – for which a spokesperson said travelers would be like “fish out of water” if forced to settle in traditional accommodation.