A GROUP of travellers with “an army of dogs” have pitched up on a small strip of land right next to a new cluster of residential properties.

At least four caravans parked up on the Gosbecks Farm estate, next to Cunobelin Way, in Colchester, on Friday afternoon.

It is understood the encampment stopped in the area after being moved on from the car park of the former Chiquito restaurant, in Stanway.

Since pitching up, homeowners say they have endured an unpleasant weekend with the travellers’ dogs constantly barking and their caravans often blocking the pavements.

Halstead Gazette:

They are also believed to be in possession of two scrap cars which they keep revving and have dumped a pile of waste, which has since been bagged up after a visit from the police.

One resident whose front door is located just six-foot from where the settlement has parked up, says she has been left upset and worried by their arrival.

Speaking anonymously she said: “They have been making hell all weekend and they have an army of dogs which just bark all day and night right outside my four-year-old’s bedroom.

“It has been quite an eventful weekend and I was crying most of Friday afternoon after they arrived.

“They have a complete disregard for anybody else and none of us have felt happy leaving our houses unattended.

“But we have all rallied together neighbours and if nothing else it has brought out the community spirit.”

A spokesman for Colchester Council said the authority is aware of the “unauthorised encampment” and is taking action to see it moved on, but the process could take as long as ten days.

“We have informed the Essex Countywide Traveller Unit, which will visit the site within 24 hours to carry out initial welfare checks,” said the spokesman.

Halstead Gazette:

“If there are no immediate concerns, the travellers will be asked to leave the site.

“If the travellers do not leave the site, we will need to go through the courts to ensure their removal.

“If we have to apply for a court order, the procedure will take between seven and ten days.”