UPDATE: Travellers leave Brentwood Centre and Little Warley Common

Travellers who set up at an unauthorised site on Little Warley Common on Wednesday left the area on Friday after being assisted by council officers.

The group - who had set up around 18 vehicles on the council land - had been served with a Section 61 order to leave by Friday morning.

They left peacefully in the afternoon after being given help to move their vehicles across a ditch.

Cllr Mark Reed, chair of the business, community and culture panel, said: “Camping overnight on any council owned land, without prior authorisation from the council will not be tolerated.

“Brentwood Borough Council has used the full extent of its powers to deal with this and worked closely with Essex Police to ensure the matter was resolved as swiftly as possible and make the travellers stay as short as possible and this is a great result by everyone involved.”

He added: “Our next task however is to get the common back in use and it is frustrating that the cost to get it cleaned, secured and the damage repaired will have to be met by taxpayers.”

Earlier in the week the travellers had moved on to a field at the Brentwood Centre and were given until last Thursday to move off the land there. On Wednesday evening they moved from the Doddinghurst Road site to Childerditch Common, Little Warley.

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Cllr Keith Parker, a former chairman of Brentwood’s planning committee, said he was concerned that the gate to the Brentwood Centre field had been apparently left unlocked.

Cllr Parker also said that the field had been used by travellers before security had been put in place several years ago.

Business at the centre, which is expecting up to 60,000 people to use its fields for the Brentwood Beer and Music Festival this weekend, was unaffected.