Council prepares court challenge over caravans

14/6/12     Travellers on land opposite Yewside in Holbrook, Gosport
14/6/12 Travellers on land opposite Yewside in Holbrook, Gosport
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GOSPORT’S council is preparing a legal challenge against a group of travellers who have set up camp in the middle of a housing estate.

Gosport Borough Council is due to go to court this morning in a bid to evict the travellers from a green in Forest Way, Holbrook.

They had been given until last night to leave the area before action was taken.

The council leader, Councillor Mark Hook, said: ‘If they are still there we will be going to the courts to get them to move on.

‘We have moved as quickly as we can on it and we are working as fast as we can.

‘We have gone down to do welfare checks to check nothing there could hold it up and there are no reasons for them to remain there.

‘I appreciate the public get frustrated and want us to move quickly so I would ask the public to bear with us.’

Cllr Hook said the legal fees to take out the order would cost the council a few hundred pounds.

He added: ‘The other issue is cleaning but we had one occasion where the travellers did clean the site up behind them.

‘The public would have a lot more respect if they did that.’

The travellers first arrived at the Fleetlands site in Gosport last week.

Then on Wednesday the land owner instructed bailiffs to evict the caravans from the site.

But they immediately moved down to the field in Holbrook.

The council’s legal officers have since served them with a notice to leave.

Today’s court hearing is only the first stage.

A full hearing is likely to be set for Wednesday.

Depending on the outcome, the council can then move in and evict the travellers.

One resident of nearby Yewside, who did not want to be named, said: ‘It’s a bit of a concern but not something that happens an awful lot around here.

‘Obviously we’re just worried about what state the area will be left in once they are gone.

‘They don’t seem to be causing any trouble.

‘But that grass is used by kids and it would be a shame if it was ruined by the caravans.’