Council vow to remove ‘protest’ camp on Norwich’s Mousehold Heath

Court action could be taken by council bosses to move on a makeshift camp which has set up on the edge of Norwich's Mousehold Heath.

About a dozen protesters put up five tents in Heathgate on Monday night, but their spokesman, who wished to remain anonymous, said the demonstration could grow and the encampment would be centred on Mousehold Heath itself.

Clare Cohen, a spokesman for the voluntary community group Mousehold Defenders, said: 'It would be disappointing if this plan goes ahead as Mousehold Heath... was originally created to provide an area of free recreation for the poorer of Norwich.

'Mousehold Heath is not a campsite and any person or persons attempting to camp on Mousehold Heath, however well intentioned they feel their reasons are, would be in violation of the Mousehold Heath Bylaws of the Norwich City Council Act 1984.'

It is understood that some of the protesters were taking part in the Occupy Norwich camp on Hay Hill until it broke up last week, ahead of a visit by council bailiffs.

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Their spokesman said the camp's aim was to highlight homelessness issues. He said the number of tents was set to multiply and their demonstration, which was well organised, would be 'huge' in the coming days.

But a Norwich City Council spokeswoman said the campers were trespassing and court action would be taken to move them.

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She said: 'This is a case of trespass on council land and the council will need to take appropriate steps to remove those camping on the land without permission.

'This will involve an application to court in order for the council to remove the trespassers and repossess the land. We have already prepared the necessary court papers which we expect to action without delay.'

The Occupy Norwich campsite, which had been in Hay Hill for four months in a protest against capitalism. was completely cleared yesterday. The city council had gained a possession order on Monday.

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