More travellers have pitched up at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre site, just days after Bradford Council pledged to tighten up security.

The encampment comprises three caravans and two vans parked up near the Manchester Road side of the Grade II listed building.

It comes hot on the heels of a large clean-up operation to remove bin bags full of rubbish and dumped items found on the site after the departure of a previous group of travellers, who had lived by the centre throughout May and June.

The council had recently replaced concrete blocks preventing access to the area with metal posts.

But these posts had been damaged, according to residents, who also reported issues with noise coming from the site.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Rubbish littered around the Richard Dunn Sports Centre car park and surrounding grounds before the clean up.Rubbish littered around the Richard Dunn Sports Centre car park and surrounding grounds before the clean up.

Speaking at the time of the previous encampment, one resident told the T&A: “For me it was the noise that was generated with two dogs barking.

“We were kept up by all the dogs. For about seven hours they were having a party with 80s music playing all day.

“The noise is the main issue, but on the back of that there’s now the cost of having to get all that [rubbish] cleaned up which is going to come out of my council tax money.

“I appreciate they need somewhere to go, I think there needs to be somewhere more permanent to go.”

Earlier in June, the Council vowed to have "protective measures reinstated” as soon as possible.

A spokesperson later said: “Work to clean and clear the site is ongoing and we hope to have it completed as soon as possible.

“The Richard Dunn site is inspected twice a week. We have recently taken steps to make it more secure, including walling up an open window. We are looking into putting up more secure fencing around the building and removing the upper level fire escape stairs; the lower ones have already been removed.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The current encampment on the Richard Dunn Sports Centre site.The current encampment on the Richard Dunn Sports Centre site.

Now, in response to further questions from the T&A and news of the latest group of travellers, a Bradford Council spokesperson said: “Our Environmental Health team were informed of the existence of the site yesterday and we made an initial visit immediately to confirm that travellers had reoccupied the site. Environmental Health have begun the process that will eventually result in securing vacant possession of the site in question. The security measures are currently being reviewed twice a week.”

It comes after one resident’s Freedom of Information (FOI) request revealed the Council had not notified the court about the previous traveller settlement.

This was despite the Council telling residents and the Telegraph & Argus it had “started the legal process to evict them from the site” on June 7.

The Council could not provide a date for when the eviction order request was made to the courts regarding the travellers who moved onto the site on May 23, 2022.

The FOI response read: “No application was made to the courts for a possession order as the site was vacated before the application was able to be submitted.”

This led the resident who submitted the FOI to question if the Council's quote about starting the legal process had been misleading.

The Council spokesperson responded: “The legal process of evicting a traveller encampment begins as soon as we start our investigation, so it’s incorrect to say that we have lied about this.

“Despite the group on the site indicating that they would be leaving before the start of Appleby Horse Fair on 9 June, we began the legal process to gain vacant possession of the site.

“In order for such evictions to be approved by a court, we have to prepare evidence, complete a number of checks and obtain various legal documents before we can request a hearing date.”

“However, the group vacated the site before the application was submitted which meant no further action was needed from the court. There is a set legal process which we have to follow in these cases which requires a number of steps to be completed, which takes time, so there are no short cuts to carrying out an eviction.”