A GROUP of travellers camped on land at a sports centre have been threatened with court action if they fail to leave.

People who moved onto the Taunton Deane Borough Council-owned site at Blackbrook Leisure Centre, Taunton, with a number of caravans last week were given 24 hours to leave last Thursday.

After they failed to move on, they were given a further deadline and told court action will be taken to evict them.

A council spokesman said: "When dealing with unauthorised encampments on TDBC land, the council has an agreed procedure to follow.

"It also has obligations to the travellers in respect of assessing health and housing needs and asks to be notified of any special circumstances by way of questionnaires left with the travellers.

"First notices were served on Thursday (March 7) which gave the travellers 24 hours to vacate the Blackbrook site.

"On Tuesday (March 12) the council served a direction under Section 77 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

"This advised them that they are still on site without licence or consent and provided a deadline date for them to leave.

"If the travellers fail to comply with the notice, then the council will implement further, formal eviction procedures, including court action.

"The land at Blackbrook Leisure Centre forms part of a valued community facility for access and use by the public.

"It is important that this leisure facility is fully available and accessible for this use.

"Any costs of clearing up and waste disposal will be met through the council’s street cleansing budget."