A POPULAR restaurant has been forced to close its doors - and subsequently lose trade - after an illegal encampment of travellers pitched up in a nearby carpark. 

Toby Carvery, in Marine Parade West, Clacton, is believed to have closed on September 27, shortly after travellers arrived at the Martello Coach and Car Park. 

As a result, the entirety of the eatery's table bookings have either been cancelled or rescheduled, and it currently remains unknown when the restaurant will reopen.

In statement published on the Toby Carvery's official Facebook page, a spokesman addressed the situation and said they hope to welcome back customers soon. 

"We are in conversation with the local authority and hope to be able to reopen again soon.

"We will be in touch with any booked guests this might affect in the coming days.

"We’d like to thank our guests for patience and understanding."

The land on which the unauthorised encampment has pitched up is owned by Tendring Council.

A Tendring Council spokesman said arrangements were being made to move the traveller encampment on.