A TRAVELLER family has accused the council of discrimination after they were evicted from their own land after six years and now have nowhere to live.

Tracy Cennett and her four children were served an eviction notice to leave a site in Cufaude Lane, Bramley, where they had been living in their caravan for six years.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council offered the family a two-bedroom flat in Basingstoke, but Tracy said this does not suit their travelling lifestyle.

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The 41-year-old, who is a full-time carer to her mother, has since been living at the side of the road with her children and faces the constant threat of being moved on.

The mother-of-four said she was threatened with arrest and her children being taken into care if she refused to leave the last location in Bramley.

Basingstoke Gazette: Cufaude Lane Cufaude Lane (Image: Google Street View)

She has since moved to Sherborne St John but is still constantly fearful of being moved on again and having nowhere to go.

“Basingstoke doesn’t have anywhere for travelling families,” she said, adding: “I was living on my own land and they got us off because of planning permission. They offered me a two-bedroom flat but I’m not used to that.”

Tracy said she grew up as a traveller and enjoys the lifestyle of cooking outside and looking after her horses.

“I have never lived in a house and neither have my children,” she explained. “Basingstoke doesn't have anywhere for travellers at all. All they could offer was a flat in Worting Road. I would have nowhere to put my caravan and no outside space.”

The mum said the family had settled in Bramley with one of her children attending school there and her eldest daughter working full-time at a nearby hotel.

She said: “I was born and bred traveller. We are free. We haven’t got ties. We cook outside and have horses. I want my children to carry on with it. It’s tradition.”

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Tracy said her life now is stressful because the family need to constantly keep watch of the caravan and have suffered abuse.

“It’s not good at the minute. We can’t leave our caravan; someone always has to watch the stuff. I have had people coming past calling us dirty and we have to keep moving. They give us 48 hours to move.

“I have mental health issues and the doctors wrote me a letter to say house me in Bramley because of my mental health. The school also wrote a letter but they are just ignoring everything. It makes me feel very bad.

“I would like to see more sites built with two or three plots. There’s enough land. I had my own land but they didn’t let us live there.”

The borough council has been asked for a comment but it has yet to respond. 

Following the publication of this article, the borough council sent the following statement: "We cannot discuss individual cases. Where people are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, we provide support with housing options and offer suitable alternative housing where we have a duty to do so.

"We will always take into account individual needs, but these have to be balanced against the housing resources that we have available.

"The current Local Plan allows for new permanent gypsy and traveller pitches to be provided where a number of policy criteria are met, including there being an identified need. Through the Local Plan update we will be looking at how more permanent traveller pitches could be provided.

"The High Court injunction granted in 2019 preventing unauthorised encampments covers Bramley, therefore any unauthorised encampment in that area will be moved as quickly as possible, after officers have ensured there are no urgent welfare needs for the occupants."