AN unauthorised encampment of four caravans which set up in Old Hill has been moved on within five hours of arriving.

Sandwell Council and police officers responded after a group moved on to Ashtree Playing Fields in Highland Road yesterday afternoon (Thursday, September 13).

The council’s environmental protection officers visited the site with police and offered the group the use of the council’s transit site – warning them refusal of the offer would mean they would have to leave the borough or face arrest.

The transit site requires groups to pay a deposit per caravan and a weekly rent.

Police and council officers prepared to issue a section 62 notice, ordering the group off the land. Two of the four caravans were moved, and a section 62 notice was issued on the group in the final two caravans.

That group had left by 8.30pm and the site has been secured with a concrete barrier.

Councillor Paul Moore, cabinet member for regeneration and economy, said: “This yet again shows how effective our partnership with the police and the transit site is proving.

“I’d like to thank council officers and police for their swift actions to move on these groups.”