Travellers move on to Waterlooville green space at homes scheme

CARAVANS Travellers have gathered at Dukes Meadow in Waterlooville
CARAVANS Travellers have gathered at Dukes Meadow in Waterlooville

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TRAVELLERS have moved on to a new multi-million pound housing development.

The group of six caravans and five vehicles drove on to a green space that is part of a development called Dukes Meadow, off Hambledon Road, Waterlooville.

The travellers have been living a few yards from the new homes, which were built by developer Taylor Wimpey.

The camp is next to a children’s playground.

Dukes Meadow, which has had houses on the market from £239,000, is a 450-home estate that will make up part of the Waterlooville Major Development Area, a development of 3,000 homes.

Grainger, which is building the other 2,550 homes, said travellers attempted to invade the land over the past few weeks, but security had been stepped up to stop them.

Yesterday there was a mixed reaction from residents, many of whom have only recently moved there.

One woman, who did not want to be named, said: ‘I don’t think anyone is happy about them being here.’

Another said she was ‘very angry’ about the invasion.

But one woman, who also did not want to be named, said: ‘They haven’t caused any problems.

‘They are just living and will move on eventually.’

The travellers have been camping at the development since last Friday.

Ray Bastin, a councillor for Waterlooville, said: ‘Personally I don’t see any reason why somebody who classes themselves as travellers should get any different treatment to anyone else who trespasses on land.

‘Why should we have to put with the disruption all the time?

‘Lots of people have recently moved in and bought their houses – they don’t want that.

‘I know there are a lot of young people recently married there who have got their first house.’

Neil Miller, a spokesman for Hampshire Police, said: ‘No breach of the peace has occurred.

‘Police are conducting regular patrols of the area to provide a high visibility presence and are monitoring the situation.

‘It is up to Taylor Wimpey to secure eviction as this is a civil matter.’

A spokeswoman for Taylor Wimpey said: ‘We are in discussion with its legal team regarding this matter.’

The land is in the Winchester City Council district and council officials said the travellers were visiting for a funeral.

Peter Morley, spokesman for Grainger, said: ‘They have tried to get on the site but they have not had any luck getting in because our security has always been maintained.’