TRAVELLERS camped on playing fields at Cottingley are facing legal action from Bradford Council if they fail to leave the site.

About half a dozen caravans, with associated vehicles, turned up on the site in a move which provoked the authority to start legal proceedings

A second encampment in the city is also the subject of separate legal action from the local authority, it has been confirmed.

The Council was alerted to problems with travellers who have set up an unauthorised encampment at playing fields off New Road in recent days.

Its spokesman said: “As with every case of illegal traveller encampments on Council land, as soon as we are made aware of the situation we will apply to the court to obtain a possession order for the site to remove those camped on it.

“When the travellers have moved on we will then clean up the site and restore it to its original condition as soon as possible."

Councillor Mike Ellis (Con, Bingley Rural) said he understood that although legal proceedings had been started, there was not yet any date set for the travellers to clear the site.

"It is that time of year when there is a lot of transit, with people going up to Appleby Fair, so we are bothered on the way up and on the way back," he said.

"It is Council land so the Council is applying for an eviction order. It normally takes two or three days and then a date is set for when they need to be off. They don't normally stay beyond that."

It is understood the playing fields at New Road are used by a junior football club.

The second camp is at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre at Odsal and ward Councillor Ralph Berry (Lab, Wibsey) confirmed that papers had been lodged with the county court urgently seeking a hearing date.

They moved in late last week and Cllr Berry said concerns had been raised by residents in the area, adding: "We have noise and nuisance, backing on to people's properties.

"We operate the proper protocols and have gone to court as quickly as possible and would hope they will move on as a result."