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29 September 2011, 10:44
Travellers who have set up 22 caravans on a public park have been given more time before eviction proceedings kick in.
The travellers set up camp in Stockwood Park, Luton - an area used by children and dogwalkers - on Monday 19 September 2011.
Luton Borough Council have been granted powers to evict the group, but will wait until Monday 3 October to serve eviction notices, with the evictions due to take place the following day. This is because the group say they are in Luton for a funeral on the Monday.
The Council say it's better to wait to evict them, rather than do it earlier, because there would otherwise be a risk the travellers would simply split up and set up several camps across Luton. They were worried this would then result in greater legal costs to taxpayers.
They say they have instructed a contractor to inspect the site each day and clean up the areas as much as possible.
In a statement, the Borough Council said "We would like to thank residents for their understanding and patience and would like to emphasise that we are following the correct legal process for eviction."
When the travellers first appeared at Stockwood Park, there were concerns they had arrived from the UK's largest illegal travellers' site at Dale Farm near Basildon, Essex, but that was later denied.