A GROUP of travellers has left a Burnham-on-Sea car park - but another group has moved in...

One group, of 11 vehicles, left the Pier Street Car Park after being given a Notice to Vacate by Sedgemoor District Council on Wednesday.

But a council spokeswoman today confirmed a different group - of three vehicles - has now arrived.

"Legal staff have visited the site this morning with the police," she said.

"There are three caravans and associated vehicles at the Steart Gardens end of the car park.

"Welfare checks were carried out. Having done so, it was considered appropriate to serve the occupants with notice to leave.

"They have therefore been served with a notice requiring them to leave by noon tomorrow (Friday).

"If they fail to leave, we will issue court proceedings for a possession order.

"Due to the rules around time between service of notice of a court hearing and the court hearing itself, we will not get a court hearing until early next week."

Burnham-on-Sea MP James Heappey has condemned the travellers saying the situation is getting 'ridiculous'.

Mr Heappey said: “The number and frequency of illegal encampments in the Pier Street car park is ridiculous.

"Sedgemoor District Council and the police are doing all they legally can to move the travellers on but it has become a game of cat and mouse that is hoovering up taxpayers’ cash, infuriating local residents and losing business in the town. 

“Changing the law and criminalising these encampments is the solution but laws cannot be changed overnight and action is needed immediately.

"We cannot just put height barriers on the car park because we want coaches and tourists with motorhomes to be able to park.

"But we can change the car park from a pay and display to one with barrier controlled entry and exit. 

“Tourists and shoppers would pay at a pay station before returning to their vehicles and I am sure there’s some system we could devise through the TIC or another nearby business where coach drivers could get their ticket validated and thus free parking for coaches is maintained.

"I hope Sedgemoor District Council will look at this proposal urgently. The expense of installing it is very likely to be offset by the endless costs incurred by the council in legal fees and cleaning up after the travellers when they are gone, not to mention the value of the business being lost in our town centre.”