Encampment of 'vandwellers' on Bristol street to be handed eviction notices by council

Sarah Ward, Emma Grimshaw
Around 50 caravans, horseboxes, motorhomes and lorries are parked on Greenbank View, close to a cemetery in Easton: SWNS

Eviction notices will be handed to controversial ‘vandwellers’ living in an unofficial encampment in Bristol.

Around 50 caravans, horseboxes, motorhomes and lorries are parked on Greenbank View, close to a cemetery in Easton.

Tensions arose with nearby residents who complained of loud noise, drug use, and public defecation – and at the weekend, two caravans and a car went up in flames in a suspected arson attack.

Bristol City Council announced that the occupants will be served with eviction notices this week and given the chance to move to council-owned land in Avonmouth.

The local authority will also seek an injunction preventing the road from being reoccupied.

Tents have recently been pitched in the graveyard, and the road is lined with inhabited vehicles.

Last month a nearby school, May Park Primary School, announced it would be closing its rear gates for “health and safety reasons” – with parents speculating it was because of vandwellers putting human waste down the drains.

Two caravans and a car went up in flames in a suspected arson attack at the weekend (SWNS)

A Bristol City Council spokesperson said: “We are planning to issue the group with legal notices next week, requiring them to leave the site.

“If anyone does not then leave, we will ask the court for an order requiring the removal of any vehicles.

“Over the last few weeks the encampment has increased to 50 vehicles parked around Greenbank cemetery plus a small number of tents pitched within the cemetery.

“We have seen a significant increase in anti-social behaviour and complaints being made to the police and the council from local residents and some of the vehicle dwellers themselves.

“The issues reported have included loud music, drug use, public defecation, littering and poor waste management.

“The site is also becoming a gathering point for people at night resulting in disturbance to local residents.”

They added: “Welfare assessments of the vehicle dwellers have been carried out, and any vehicle dweller requiring assistance will be offered this either by the council or by one of our partner agencies.

“Where occupiers are considered to be in need of housing advice, they will be referred to the Housing Options service.

“Vehicle dwellers will be offered the opportunity to move to a council owned site in Avonmouth as an interim location following their removal from Greenbank.

“Following the eviction, the council will also be seeking an injunction to prevent the site being immediately reoccupied.

“The council is also due to run a consultation soon on its approach to managing vehicle dweller encampments.”

SWNS