TRAVELLERS who have set up an illegal encampment on Bridgwater's Mount Street car park have been served with a court order this afternoon (Tuesday, May 15).

Twelve caravans pitched up on the site over the weekend. Having failed to vacate the site after being issued a notice yesterday, Sedgemoor District Council officers today issued the travellers with a notice of a court hearing to take place on Friday, May 18 at 10am in Taunton.

A spokesman for Sedgemoor District Council said: "The travellers stated they would be leaving on Thursday, but this information will not affect our legal approach/process.

"SDC’s Clean Surroundings are assisting to help keep the site tidy."

Below is the following process that the Council takes, once it is has been established that there is an unauthorised incursion on to Sedgemoor District Council owned land.

• The travellers are issued with a letter advising that they are occupying council land without consent and are usually required to vacate within 24 hours.

• If they do not vacate an application is made to the County Court for a Possession Order and the notice of hearing is then served on the travellers.

• Under court rules, travellers must be given three clear days’ notice of the hearing, not including the day that the notice was served, the day of the hearing and not including week-ends or bank holidays; which is why is takes at least a week to move them on.

• If they do not vacate, the Council attends the court hearing and seeks an Order for Possession Forthwith. This is then usually served on the travellers the same day with the instruction that they vacate within 24 hours.

• If they still do not vacate, the Police and Bailiffs are called in to assist with the removal.