Travellers evicted from a two-week “fortress” in Forfar’s west end moved east to another part of the town.
A decree granted at Forfar sheriff court was executed by council officials to throw nearly 20 caravans off a playpark at Threewells Drive, which the group moved into almost two weeks’ ago.
But, on Friday, as council staff erected a makeshift wooden fence around the area – where items including bags of rubbish and a gas cylinder were left strewn around – some of the group pitched up adjacent to another play area at St Margaret’s Park on the east of the town.
The new location is also beside busy football pitches which are due to host young teams this weekend and concerned parents and officials are understood to be monitoring the situation.
Shocked Threewells residents had watched as the Travellers arrived in numbers two weeks’ ago tomorrow, squeezing through a narrow alleyway to the open space.
Some of the caravans were parked just yards away from neighbouring homes and almost immediately the situation led to complaints about anti-social behaviour, including incidents involving dogs attacking other pets and human waste being left lying around the site.
However, some residents said they thought the people there were well behaved once the site was established, although there were barking dogs late at night and in the morning.
Residents were assured everything was being done to move the group on from the park, a main route for schoolchildren who attend Langlands primary.
Local councillor Colin Brown had also urged Angus residents not to give work to the Travellers and he suggested the installation of portable toilets at the site because he did not want to ask residents or employees to handle any waste left behind.
“Not one person in this town should have to put up with the human waste,” he said.
“It’s bad enough cleaning up after dogs, but after human beings is disgusting.”
Angus Council said they were monitoring the situation throughout the legal process and yesterday afternoon a council spokesperson confirmed the execution of the eviction decree which the authority had been granted.
The Threewells camp appeared after a previous group at Forfar Loch Country Park dispersed and there are now concerns that the town may be facing a similar situation to that experienced in 2014 and tagged a “summer of discontent” after a large influx of caravans which moved around the town in a game of cat and mouse with the council before eventually shifting to a disused mill near the village of Tannadice.
Residents at that time claimed they were “under siege” and Angus Council leader Iain Gaul later spoke of his annoyance over the costs involved in dealing with Traveller encampments, including clean-ups and prevention measures.
It emerged that the authority spent over £43,000 in 2014/15 for legal and property-related costs associated with almost 20 unauthorised encampments.
Dundee also saw a series of major encampments set up at various city locations last year, renewing calls for the city to look again at how it deals with Traveller groups and casting fresh focus on occupancy rates at the official Balmuir Wood site on the Angus/Dundee border at Tealing.
The council has also not escaped the attention of the Travellers, with waste ground at Orchardbank business park, opposite the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association’s Scottish training HQ, used by them during the 2014.
And earlier this year, a small group of caravans spent a few days pitched right under the nose of authority staff in the main car park at the Angus House HQ on the Orchardbank campus.