Court date fixed as Portsmouth City Council prepares to evict travellers illegally camped at Tipner park and ride site
LEGAL action is being sought by a council to remove a group of travellers from one of the city’s key transport hubs.
About 10 caravans and trailers have set up camp at the park and ride facility in Tipner.
Portsmouth City Council has now launched legal proceedings to evict the group.
A spokesman for the authority told The News: ‘The council have a court date of Tuesday, September 28 at 3pm to apply for an order to evict any of the unauthorised encampment that remain on the Park and Ride site.
‘The unauthorised encampment was served earlier this afternoon with the court papers.’
Police have already been informed about the situation and are 'monitoring it’, a spokesman for the council added.
Lynne Stagg, transport boss for the council, was disappointed by the illegal encampment and warned it could affect the park and ride’s post-pandemic recovery.
The Lib Dem councillor said: ‘This is the first time I believe this has happened at the park and ride. Travellers usually go to places like Milton Common. It’s disappointing.’
She added: ‘The amount of usage (at the park and ride) has been virtually none for the best part of 18 months, so we are very eager to get that back to normal again and get the numbers up. Anything that holds that up is detrimental to the future plans for the city centre.’
As previously reported, Portsmouth City Council has drawn up ambitious plans to overhaul the park and ride and create a new ‘gateway’ onto the island.
A new seven-storey transport hub, on the site of the existing Tipner park and ride adjacent to the M275, will be discussed by councillors at the planning committee on Tuesday.
As reported, the scheme will see the existing car parking spaces increase from 650 to 2,650.
It’s hoped the travellers will leave the site over the weekend.
The caravans are spread out across the northern car park of the transport hub.
A number of dogs tied to trees and caravans have also been spotted, prompted concern from animal welfare activists in Portsmouth.
Tamazin Morley, an anti-puppy farm campaigner from the city, has reported the encampment to the RSPCA.
She said: ‘There are four dogs there that are in a very bad way. One black pug is tied to a caravan and isn’t moving.
‘They’ve been out there for 48 hours now an I’m concerned for their welfare – that’s why I called the RSPCA.’
The News approached the RSPCA for comment.