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2nd Aug, 2021

Plan to protect Pershore park from illegal encampments

Rob George 21st Jul, 2021 Updated: 21st Jul, 2021

COUNCIL chiefs have drawn up a plan in a bid to Pershore’s Abbey Park from illegal encampments.

District councillors met with Wychavon officers earlier this week to explore the available options to prevent a repeat of recent events, which have seen travellers illegally occupy the land for several days on two separate occasions.

This has led to numerous complaints from residents and businesses about anti-social behaviour and calls for the council to take action to protect the land.

The plan involves installing a physical barrier around the park including a mixture of knee height rails and boulders, while still allowing easy access for park users through entry points. Legal deterrents are also being looked at including a pre-emptive injunction on the land meaning any illegal encampments would automatically breach the injunction. This would support Wychavon and the police to make greater use of the powers they already have.

Other options considered included creating bunds, ditches and a full line of boulders to create a barrier around the park. These have been ruled out though because it was felt they would not be as effective as other measures and would have a significant impact on the character of the park.

A short public consultation is planned to consult residents on the proposed design which will cost somewhere in the region of £75,000. More details will be released shortly.

Unfortunately, there are no ‘quick fix’ options available and all the physical solutions considered to be most effective will have lead-in times of several weeks, meaning work is unlikely to start before the end of the summer.

Coun Bradley Thomas, leader of Wychavon District Council, said: “We’ve listened to what people have told us and we have a plan to put in additional protections around Abbey Park. “Unfortunately, none of the solutions that are most effective can be put in place quickly and all of them will alter the appearance and character of the park in some way. That’s why we want to carry out a short consultation with the public to make sure we have their support for what we are proposing.

“We hope we don’t get any further incidents on Abbey Park during the summer months but if we do then we will go through the process as fast as we can to move illegal encampments on.”

 

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