AMBLECOTE councillors have apologised to the community because of the “unwanted presence” of travellers who have set up camp on playing fields in Withymoor.

Residents said about 50 caravans were first spotted on the playing fields in Turners Lane behind the Sainsbury’s supermarket store on Friday morning (June 30).

Ward councillors Paul Bradley and Simon Tyler said the legal process to removing the travellers from the site is expected to get underway this morning (Monday, July 3).

“A ‘Section 77’ process has been instigated,” Cllr Bradley said. “Enforcement will be in court Monday morning for the summons to get the order and take possession of the site on Wednesday – as long as the court can fit us in, which increasingly they can as I feel they appreciate the issues that we face.

“There have been a few issues with the Bovis owned part of the land, but we are determined to overcome them.

“The council have to legally adhere to procedures in enforcement and the travellers are well aware of the law and their rights.

“When we are armed with an order, the travellers have to move on. Regrettably, usually to other sites in Dudley. The benefit of the order is that it prevents the group returning to the site for three months.”

The councillors, who have apologised to local residents following the latest battle with travellers in Withymooor, said the police have been monitoring the area throughout the weekend.

Cllr Bradley added: “I am satisfied – from a council perspective – all is being achieved than can be in the legal process.

“I only apologise that our community is again subject to this unwanted presence.”

On Friday, the leader of Dudley Council, Cllr Patrick Harley, said he is taking a tough stance on illegal traveller camps, announcing they will 'no longer be tolerated' in the borough.

A spokesman for Dudley Council said the local authority are aware of the situation.