James Golby, his wife and children were among seven families evicted from their mobile homes in Rainham, Kent, after law enforcement officers began demolishing the site. They bought the land in 2020 but don’t have planning permission to live there.
Medway Council had previously obtained an enforcement notice in 2017 prohibiting anyone from living there.
Mr Golby, 38, said he was unaware of this and the council’s action led him to separate from his wife – with whom he has five children – and ” forced” to live in his van.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: ‘Medway Council evicted us from the land we owned and they didn’t offer us anything.
“Me and my wife have broken up now. She is staying with friends with the kids – who can accommodate her at the moment.
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Excavators have been there for several days and smoke billowed from a bonfire on Tuesday as work continued to clear the site.
Travelers say they applied for planning permission when they bought the land, but the application was not accepted by Medway Council.
Mr. Golby has since created a Facebook page where people can help families.
A Medway Council spokesman said last week: “Unfortunately the occupants do not have planning permission to live on this site.
“We served an enforcement notice in 2017 that prevented residential occupation of this agricultural field.
“The occupants settled on the site after the entry into force of the formal notice. We have provided them with copies of the enforcement notice and for the past 12 months have advised them of the consequences of occupying the site with the notice in effect.
“Several letters were hand-delivered to the occupants warning them that enforcement action would be taken if they did not comply with the notice.”
This week, the council said it “continues to ensure that the enforcement notice is respected and that developments on the ground, which breach the notice, are removed”.
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This notice was published: 2022-03-05 13:59:00