Travellers set up camp in Hayling seafront car park

PARKED Travellers who have set up home at the car park on Hayling seafront
PARKED Travellers who have set up home at the car park on Hayling seafront
Policing minister Nick Hurd with Havant MP Alan Mak

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TRAVELLERS have set up camp on a seafront council car park – but they have bought parking tickets.

Ten caravans, two camper vans, plus cars and vans, moved on to the Chichester Avenue car park on Hayling Island on Monday afternoon.

Travellers also moved on to the empty former Gemplus site at Downley Road Industrial Estate, in Havant, on Tuesday.

Havant Borough Council gave the first group 24 hours to leave the popular car park but officers are now going through eviction proceedings in the courts.

In the meantime parking enforcement officers have been down to see the group and the travellers are paying the £4 a day parking charge.

But it is illegal to camp there overnight.

Hayling Island councillor Leah Turner said: ‘I know this is causing a stir in the community but we are taking this very seriously.

‘We have to follow the legal process but it is very high priority for us.’

Councillor Andy Lenaghan added: ‘If there was a quicker way of pursuing it we would do it.’

Legally the council has an obligation to check on the welfare of all children on the site but no problems have come to light.

The travellers are parked on the grassy area, away from the main car park.

There are two caravans on the industrial estate which is managed by agents Hellier Langston.

It comes as Fareham Borough Council had to fork out taxpayers’ cash to evict 32 caravans at Mill Lane, Titchfield and clear up their mess.

It is believed many of the travellers were in the area for the funeral of Henry Keet, a traveller who settled in Widley, and passed away recently aged 65.

Neil Miller, a spokesman for Havant police, said: ‘We are closely monitoring the situation (in Hayling) and working closely with our council colleagues and the travellers to reach a satisfactory and swift resolution to this matter.

‘We do have powers to move people on should it become necessary, but this would only be after an eviction notice is handed out and under certain circumstances as laid down in Section 61 of the Criminal Justice Public Order Act.’