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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 October, 2003, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
Travellers fight ban
Travellers who have taken over a council yard near Newlyn are preparing to fight a court battle against eviction.

Some residents and businesses have expressed anger at the camp at Trevadoe, near Newlyn.

Others say the site, which has been occupied since March, is tucked away and is being cared for much better now than it used to be.

Last week Penzance Town Council backed the travellers who face an attempt by Cornwall County Council in the county court on Tuesday to evict them.

Anya Thompson, one of the travellers, said: "The site was pretty empty apart from fly-tipping - mattresses, old sofas were littered around - and there was a lot of rubble.

"The back of the site was a bit of a bomb site.

"Luckily there were also a few hundred tonnes of topsoil, so we started levelling and landscaping the site."

It has been radically enhanced. It really is a place of beauty now
Penzance councillor Joby Akira

Traveller Nathan, who has been working locally as a chef, said: "It is extremely difficult to find affordable housing in this area.

"While the council are willing to support luxury flats on beaches they are unwilling to tolerate people looking for their own low-impact, sustainable solutions to the housing crisis."

Penzance councillor Joby Akira, said: "It is a brownfield site and was just a dump for the county council.

"It has been radically enhanced. It really is a place of beauty now."

John Payne, who supports the eviction, resigned as a town councillor over the issue.

Eviction petition

Mr Payne said the yard had fallen into disuse because the county highways department had been using another depot nearby.

He said: "That does not mean to say that it is not going to be actively used again and indeed it has been used - for the storage of winter grit."

He said there had been a number of complaints about noise and disturbance.

A petition supporting the eviction had been signed by 107 local residents and 17 businesses.

Mr Payne said: "It is not designated as a residential site in the local structure plan.

"It is owned by the county council and the travellers have caused a change in land use and as such the council has taken action to regain total reinstatement of the land."

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