Travellers move onto Gomersal playing fields

Travellers moved onto the land in Gomersal in 2012 (d24041251)
Travellers moved onto the land in Gomersal in 2012 (d24041251)

Travellers have moved on to land behind a derelict office in Gomersal.

A group of caravans have been spotted behind the old Maccess building on Nibshaw Lane on Wednesday morning, just hours before an eviction notice was to expire on a traveller community who’d been stationed on playing fields on New North Road in Heckmondwike for several weeks.

It is believed that the travelling party is the same as the one that was based at Heckmondwike.

Enforcement officers attended the site yesterday to make a formal assessment and the matter is expected to go to court next Wednesday. Should an application to evict the travellers be granted, they may have to vacate the field by the end of next week.

Liversedge and Gomersal councillor Lisa Holmes told the Spenborough Guardian: “I’ve heard people are very concerned that the travellers are using the field there as a toilet and they’re not being discreet about it either, which is obviously very upsetting for local residents.

“The matter should be in court by Wednesday in which case hopefully they’ll be gone by the end of next week, but you never know with these things.”

The building on Nibshaw Lane has been the subject of much publicity in recent weeks, with the fire service having been called out on consecutive weekends to the site to attend to separate blazes.

Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox is due to meet the site’s owners tomorrow over the possibility of the building being converted into houses.

A travelling community illegally moved onto the site’s playing fields in 2012, to the ire of local residents.

Christine Warrillow, whose teenage daughter Emily has led a petition for the site to be demolished, lives near the site and said she’d heard reports on Facebook that travellers had moved on this morning.

She said: “I’ve heard they were on the back field on the Maccess site. They have been here before but I’m not 100 per cent sure how long they were there for.

“We walk our dog down that way and I think they left the place in quite a mess last time which wasn’t good for us and I don’t think it helped Maccess either.”

A spokesman for Kirklees Council said that the issue was a matter for the land owners.