Travellers building unauthorised road in field in Little Hadham
A group of travellers have occupied a field in Little Hadham and started to carry out unauthorised work on laying a road across it.
They moved onto the site, off Chapel Lane towards the Westland Green hamlet, overnight on Thursday into Friday (April 18-19). Police were called soon after 8.30am.
Pictures show men operating heavy machinery, including a digger, mounds of displaced soil and a stack of wooden posts.
Lorries carrying hardcore for the road are journeying up and down Chapel Lane, which runs from the Nag's Head pub in the heart of Little Hadham to a junction with Bromley Lane, between Much Hadham and Standon.
Officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary and East Herts Council officers have visited the field, as has Cllr Geoffrey Williamson, the EHC member for the Little Hadham ward and the council's executive member for finance and support services.
Cllr Williamson said: "Travellers moved into a field off Chapel Lane first thing this morning and set up camp, and there are already a number of caravans on site.
"It transpires the travellers bought this field a short while ago.
"East Herts Council has been working all day on this, but as they are on their own private land we have no powers to evict.
"The setting-up of the camp is of course a planning breach and a stop notice is in the process of being served. We will also seek an injunction to the same effect when the courts reopen on Tuesday."
According to a villager: "They [the travellers] have taken down fences and are presently digging a road across the field. Apparently it is for stables and they have bought the field.
"Police and East Herts Council have been on site, but as it is Good Friday, no relevant offices are open until Tuesday."
Another said: "There are at least 10 caravans, two heavy plant diggers and three trucks have been running up and down from Stortford way with hardcore since 9am this morning."
Another villager added: "There are reports of 10-15 caravans already on site and trees being chopped down."
A spokeswoman for Hertfordshire Constabulary said: "We are aware of an incident currently ongoing in Little Hadham.
"Police were called shortly after 8.30am today (Friday, April 19) to report that potentially unauthorised building works had commenced on land off Chapel Lane.
"As the incident is a civil matter, it is being led by the local authority at this time. Officers are continuing to monitor the situation."
More by this authorPaul Winspear