Work underway to secure space recently occupied by travellers
Published: 23 April 2020
Work to prevent unauthorised encampments on Lakeside Green in Countess Wear is underway.
Council workers are creating a large bank to prevent unauthorised vehicle access at the site, which was recently occupied by travellers.
Nearby residents have been made aware of the work.
Over the next three to four weeks the Public and Green Spaces Team at will be improving site security on the Lakeside Avenue Green Space, which has more than 230 metres of unsecure frontage.
A berm, or Devon Bank as it is known, will be created across the length of the frontage.
Initially up to 240 tonnes of soil will be transported to the site as a base to the berm, which will then be covered by excavated topsoil bringing the height to around 600mm.
There will be a number of pedestrian entry points through the berm to allow residents to fully access and enjoy the space.
It is hoped that the work will ease the concerns of residents over the possibility of a repeat incursion.
Council Leader Phil Bialyk said: “Lakeside Avenue is a totally unsuitable site for travellers and it was completely unacceptable the residents had to put up with the noise of a generator and everything that was going on.
“They were offered two other more appropriate sites to go to but they turned those down. We were pleased that after discussions with police a direction notice was issued asking them to leave and attend one of those sites. I am glad to say they did leave, but they decided to leave the city.”
Cllr Bialyk added: “I received a lot of emails from residents in the area and I totally empathise with them and understand what they were going through.
“I am glad it is resolved and that we are now taking measures to protect this site.”
Excavators will be onsite from the week commencing the 27 April to start grading out the soil that has been brought in. Excavators will not be in operation until after 8am to ensure minimum disruption to residents throughout the project.
The berm/Devon bank will be grass seeded at the end of the construction phase, and then later in the year whips will be planted along the bank which will grow to form natural rustic hedge line, improving biodiversity and ecology of the area.
For the fence line along the Church Property, the Council’s Tree Team will be discussing appropriate tree planting, to add additional security and also to further improve the ecology and carbon absorption of the green space. It will contribute towards the goal of becoming a net carbon zero city by 2030.
Where there is still an unsecured access to the rear of the play area, large boulders will be put in place.