REMOVING travellers’ from a South Derry beauty spot will cost ratepayers £3,500 in legal costs, Magherafelt District Council was told.
The council was forced to take action after a number of caravans moved on to their lands at Newferry on the banks of the River Bann.
The travellers’ were served with notices to quit but left the site after the council was granted a High Court order to repossess the land.
Director of Operations Andrew Cassells told councillors that in addition to the legal costs the incident had “consumed considerable officer time”.
He said taps were left running in the toilet block, saturating the floors. Plumbing fittings were also damaged and the flooring needed to be replaced.
“A nearby stream was polluted with general waste, including household appliances after the travellers’ vacated the site,” added Mr Cassells.
Local Sinn Fein Councillor Ian Milne suggested that the council should look into the possibility of erecting height barriers at Newferry to prevent a recurrence of the problem.