BOSSES at the council are expecting travellers to leave Kings Meadow by midweek despite a court ordering their departure last weekend.

The encampment on the football pitches at Kings Meadow in Reading has been there for exactly one month.

On Friday, October 8, Reading Magistrates’ Court approved an application from Reading Borough Council to evict the travellers from the site.

This meant the group had 24 hours to leave or they could be prosecuted. 

But as of Monday morning (October 11) the group are still on the field.

READ MORE: Court orders travellers to leave Kings Meadow

Their presence has wreaked havoc with local children’s football fixtures as the group’s encampment on the site’s football pitches has meant games have been cancelled five weeks in a row.

But a Reading Borough Council told the Chronicle they hoped the group will no longer be at the site by the middle of the week.

They said: “We are always disappointed when delays to the court process mean illegal incursions cannot be evicted as quickly as we would like.

Travellers are still set up at Kings Meadow

Travellers are still set up at Kings Meadow

“That is particularly the case where they are causing disruption, as we know this encampment did with the cancelling of youth football matches.

“The council has to work within the existing law when evicting illegal encampments.

READ MORE: Travellers remain at Kings Meadow

“That process involves preparing an application to the courts to repossess the land. How quickly the hearing can then be listed will depend on available space at court, which the Council is not in control of.

“In this case, eviction was further delayed when the Magistrates’ Court did not process the relevant paperwork in time to go ahead with a proposed hearing on October 1st.

“We are pleased with Friday’s (Oct 8th) eventual outcome and we expect to regain possession of the site by midweek.

“More detail on the process the Council has to follow can be found at”

The travellers arrived at the site on Saturday, September 11 in 15 caravans.

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A Reading Borough Council officer first visited the site on September 14 to tell the group the field was council-owned and they have to leave.

By September 20, the council handed the travellers a written direction ordering them to leave under Section 77 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.

The group did not vacate the meadows, forcing Reading Borough Council to apply for a Section 78 order, which was granted on Friday, October 8.