Travellers invade Titchfield recreation fields and business park

ENCAMPMENT Police talk to the group of travellers who have invaded land at Mill Lane, Titchfield
ENCAMPMENT Police talk to the group of travellers who have invaded land at Mill Lane, Titchfield
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DOZENS of travellers have moved onto a council-owned recreation ground.

Thirty-two caravans – plus several other vehicles – invaded the parkland at Mill Lane in Titchfield.

But Fareham Borough Council has vowed to move them off as quickly as possible.

It comes as a second, smaller group, believed to be about seven caravans, has also set up camp on private land owned by Standard Life at Standard Way, in Wallington, Fareham.

They are believed to have arrived on both sites on Saturday and it is thought they are the same travellers who were evicted from Stoney Cross in the New Forest late last week.

They had also briefly stopped at Parkway in Whiteley and on St Margaret’s Way Lane in Titchfield, but moved from both locations without intervention.

A gate at the Mill Lane rec was broken to allow the vehicles on to the park.

Council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘We aim to be the most unfriendly council to travellers.

‘People don’t want this sort of thing in Fareham and we do our best to keep our leisure land for leisure and recreation.

‘It has a tremendous impact on the community. It’s where children play and people walk dogs – they aren’t going to be so inclined to do that when there are travellers there.’

The council’s chief enforcement officer, Kevin Wright, was due at Portsmouth County Court today seeking an order to enable the travellers to be removed.

Once the court grants the notice it will have to be served on the travellers and is then usually put up somewhere visible.

‘We will get a date from the court, it’s usually about a week, and if they aren’t gone by then we can go on with the bailiffs and the police and remove them,’ said Cllr Woodward.

But once the travellers leave, clean-up costs can often run into thousands of pounds.

Cllr Woodward added: ‘The big problem is what’s left behind.

‘We have issued them with skips and black bags and we hope they will use them.

‘We’ve already had reports from a resident about there being human excrement on the field.’

Last June and July more than 30 traveller vehicles camped at Hunts Pond Road in Titchfield Common before moving on to Stubbington rec.

No-one was available from Standard Life to comment.