TRAVELLERS camping next to a Brierley Hill school will be moved as soon as possible, council chiefs have vowed.

Two caravans parked up near Withymoor Primary School in Gayfield Avenue earlier this week, sparking immediate action from the council.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environment and Councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member for housing said: “We are aware of the presence of two caravans on land at Withymoor.

“The necessary legal process to recover possession of the site was immediately commenced and will be concluded as swiftly as possible.

“Plans are progressing to develop a temporary Transit Site for travellers within the borough, giving us the powers to remove unauthorised traveller encampments much faster in the future.”

Dudley Council’s website outlines the process it must follow in relation to travellers’ encampments.

It says: “When travellers move on to land the council visits them within 24 hours to advise them they need to leave.

“At the same time the council starts preparing legal papers to apply for possession orders at the Court in Dudley. The preparation of papers generally takes around 48 hours.

“Once they are registered at court they are served on the travellers and a date is set for a court hearing which must be at least two clear days after they are served (excluding weekends and bank holidays)

“If the court order is granted at the hearing, it is served to the travellers the same day, requiring them to move off the site immediately.

If the travellers fail to move off the site, the council is legally obliged to apply for a possession warrant to the court.

“The court usually issues this within a few days but then has to set a date for the travellers to move off the land or be forced off, using reasonable force if necessary.

“The time period for this can vary depending on the availability of bailiffs. If an encampment is large, the council may have to involve private bailiffs.”