Travellers move out of West Hampstead industrial site before council can evict them

Travellers arriving at the Liddell Road industrial estate Picture by local resident, 'Jon'

Travellers arriving at the Liddell Road industrial estate Picture by local resident, 'Jon' - Credit: Archant

Travellers have moved out of the West Hampstead industrial site they had been occupying since last Thursday after the fire brigade were called.

Camden Council were today set to receive a possession order for the Liddell Road industrial estate where several van loads of travellers had set up home, but they apparently started leaving in the early hours of this morning (Thursday).

The fire brigade confirmed two engines were sent to the site at 7.20am this morning, where a small fire of waste materials was extinguished.

Thames Water also attended the site this morning following a burst water pipe, but police were not called.

Local resident Linda Brown said the travellers were all gone by 10am, but claimed they had left piles of rubbish and animal and human excrement behind them, as well as removing valuable copper from the pipes.

Mrs Brown, who is chair of the West Hampstead Safer Neighbourhood Ward, said:

“They have completely stripped the site of all copper, leaving the pipes open. They have been burning spelt over the last couple of evenings. Residents could smell the dreadful fumes.

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“The fly tipping will cost a fortune to clear, and the whole area is now covered in human poo - it’s a health hazard. Residents are also concerned about hazardous materials.”

Mrs Brown said she understood the travellers had broken through the fence to the railways, leading to transport officers attending the site,

She added: “Residents have been very worried, so yes, we are relived they have gone.”

At the weekend, travellers reportedly hurled rocks at Conservative party activists who tried to take photographs of the site.

The travellers were apparently based near Staples Corner in Barnet before moving into the industrial site,

The housing development in Liddell Road will contain no “affordable” housing, but the developer, Graham, agreed to build a new school for Kingsgate Primary School, as part of the deal.

The council and the developer have both been contacted for comment.