I’ve been contacted by a resident living near the former Silver Court Gardens site in Brownhills today. It seems that travellers have moved on to the large expanse of unfenced wasteland behind Silver Court. I recieved the following message (edited for anonymity):
I’m sending you some pictures of travellers that have moved into the old silvercourt gardens site this morning. last week I made a complaint to Walsall Housing Group about containers they had dumped on the grassland that used to be occupied by the flats at Silver Court Gardens, as you know this land has been empty for the last 5 years and we have been very lucky to avoid travellers in that time. when the flats were first demolished WHG put a wooden post fence around the area to discourage travellers majority of this fence was stolen and never replaced and the area had turned into a bit of a walk through for dog owners.
I was told that the containers would be there for several months and they were supplying the regeneration of severn house (even though these containers could have been placed back by the canal where they have others). I stressed that they make the land look uncared for and unowned hence what I think attracted these travellers this morning. I was assured by WHG that they would clean up these containers (as you can see from the pictures one is purple and covered in graffiti!).
Walsall Council have received several complaints about the travellers this morning and are sending someone out to assess the situation. The travellers which consist of around 8-9 vehicles that are currently parked on the road and layby on Silver Court Gardens, and as residents we are hoping that they are not scouts and tommorow we will wake up to the wasteland full of vehicles. The current ones are already causing a nusiance with loud music and dogs barking and its a concern to leave your property unattended especially as the security cameras around here were turned off when the flats were knocked down. I have approached Walsall Housing Group to re-fence off the wasteland area in the hope that it will deter anymore travellers from setting up, and am awaiting a reply.
I drifted past the site this afternoon, and police and officials were in attendance. This situation has been inevitable for some time, due to the lack of any kind of barrier around the land concerned. Brownhills town centre contains large swathes of such land, in multiple ownerships and it’s sad to see that WHG, recently so smug about it’s new, multi-million pound office complex, can’t find the relatively small sum to secure the land they leave derelict.
On a wider note, there would be less incentive for this kind of occurrence if WHG and the council actually got their heads together and came up with a sensible development plan. After all, much of this land has been derelict for six years now. Must we continue to live amongst such wastelands?