Traveller encampment brings 'mayhem' to Park Gate recreation ground

A COURT order has been issued to a group of travellers who have set up an encampment on a playing field in Park Gate – and they remain on the site in a ‘very unusual’ move.

Friday, 2nd October 2020, 1:03 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd October 2020, 1:17 pm

Fareham Borough Council has secured the order after a group of six caravans appeared in the playing fields along Hunts Pond Road on Thursday September 24

They remain at the site in a ‘very unusual’ move that could require bailiffs being used to remove them, according to Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘Normally it never gets to this situation.

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Travellers in Park Gate on October 2. Picture: Sarah Standing

‘Usually, as soon as a court order is due, encampments leave the site they are on.

‘This is very unusual.

‘If we need to we will get bailiffs in to throw them out.

‘I can’t remember the last time that’s happened in Fareham.’

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Once they have been removed, the council faces cleaning up a ‘terrible mess’, according to Cllr Woodward.

He said: ‘I went down there a couple of day ago and there was certainly a lot of rubbish left lying around – there was a lot of rubbish thrown in bushes.

‘It has caused mayhem for the people that want to use there local recreation ground.

It appears that a barrier at the entrance of the playing fields had been damaged, according to the council leader.

He said: ‘The barrier was cut through.

‘It looks like someone took an angle grinder to it.

‘We have such barriers at all our open spaces, but everything can be broken-in to where there is a will and a criminal mind.’

It follows a traveller encampment of more 15 caravans was pitched on Wicor Rec over the space of two weeks in August – leaving nearby residents ‘living in fear’ of anti-social behaviour.

After police expelled the encampment using Section 61 powers to tackle the nuisance behaviour, the council was left with a bill of more than £3,655 to deal with the camp and its 12 tonnes of waste.

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