There are no authorised places for Travellers to live in Woodley – and nowhere across the whole borough for those on the move to stop, Wokingham Borough Council has confirmed.

It comes after travellers briefly parked up at Ashenbury Park in Woodley last week.

Around 10 caravans pitched up at Ashenbury Park on Wednesday, August 30 after being moved on from nearby Woodford Park.

Wokingham Borough Council confirmed it began working with bailiffs to evict the Travellers, and by Monday, September 4 they had moved on. Residents complained on social media that the Travellers had left litter behind them.

But now the council has confirmed there are no authorised permanent Traveller pitches in Woodley, and no “transit” sites for those staying temporarily anywhere in the borough.

Council leader Stephen Conway said: “There aren’t any Gypsy and Traveller pitches in Woodley, and we aren’t aware of any suitable or available land in this area to provide new pitches in the future.

“At the moment, like other nearby boroughs, we don’t have a transit site for those households who are travelling and, unfortunately, no land has been identified for this yet.”

A spokesperson from Travellers organisation Families, Friends and Travellers said there is a national shortage of pitches. This leaves Travellers “between a rock and a hard place.”

He said: “The hard facts are that there are simply not enough available stopping places, permanent or transit or temporary.

“Without concerted national and local government action to tackle the accommodation crisis, the situation will only get worse. It’s no use telling people where they can’t go without saying where they can.”

READ MORE: Council ‘working with bailiffs’ to evict travellers in Ashenbury Park

Councillor Conway said there are more than 100 “available” pitches for Gypsies and Travellers across the borough. The council’s most recent assessment – conducted in 2017 – found there were 123 pitches, of which 117 were occupied and six were vacant.

These are all permanent sites, for Travellers who choose to make them their home. The council’s assessment found it still needed a “transit site” for stop-overs with space for ten caravans, which could help avoid unauthorised encampments.

Families, Friends and Travellers suggested that councils and Travellers on the move can also make “negotiated stopping” agreements, setting out a length of time a group can stay in an area.

Councillor Conway added that the council has recently appealed to landowners, councillors and residents to come forward with potential new sites for travellers.

He said: “We did this in the hope of identifying potential additional sites, on top of those that had previously been promoted, for use either now or in the future. No new sites within Woodley came forward, but several sites in other parts of the borough were suggested.

“While our ‘call for sites’ has now closed, we’re still interested in hearing any suggestions.”