A set of boulders has today been placed on the access ramp leading to a grassed area alongside Bradley Stoke Way that was, on two recent occasions, used as the site of an illegal traveller encampment.
The move comes two weeks after defences consisting of four wooden posts and two young trees, installed after the first traveller encampment in June, failed to stop travellers moving onto the site for a second time over the August bank holiday weekend.
Bradley Stoke Mayor John Ashe had wanted to have a ditch dug to prevent travellers returning for a third time, but his ‘Plan B’ (following the ineffective wooden posts) was thwarted by the presence of an underground high-pressure oil pipeline in the vicinity of the access ramp.
The precise cost of installing the boulders is unknown, but an estimate of £369 for two one-ton rocks was tabled by officers at a meeting of Bradley Stoke Town Council’s Planning Committee last week. This compares with the sum of £97 spent to have the four wooden posts installed in June.
It is understood that South Gloucestershire Council, which owns the land, has agreed to refund the cost of installing the boulders.
The Planning Committee also agreed that the grass on the entire site be left to grow long, “as a deterrent to further unauthorised encampments”.
During last week’s meeting, Cllr Ashe warned that there are several other verge areas further down Bradley Stoke Way that could be vulnerable to unauthorised encampments, once the site recently used had been secured. He suggested that the council should consider letting the grass grow long on these areas as well and asked that the matter be placed on the agenda for a future meeting.
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