Horndean hit by traveller encampment

'˜WE are worried and don't know what will happen now they are here.'

Monday, 30th July 2018, 7:54 pm
Updated Monday, 30th July 2018, 8:03 pm

That was the message from concerned residents in Horndean after travellers suddenly descended on Five Heads Recreation Ground on Friday night.

It is the latest traveller encampment to besiege the region after travellers also turned up at Southsea Common last week while the long-running dispute in Ferry Road, Eastney, shows no sign of letting up.

The incident in Horndean marks the latest episode that has enraged people, who feel the field next door to Horndean Football Club has been turned into an eyesore.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And with tensions running high last time travellers turned up, fears are rife there could be more drama this time around.

'˜At the moment there have been no major problems but you do worry things will get worse. You don't know what might happen,' resident Bill Dickie, 71, said.

'˜I walk my dogs here and it's scary as they have dogs so I don't want to go too near them. It's a shame and doesn't make the area look very nice. You've got the children's play area and its school holidays so it's not good for them.

'˜There could be problems with the football club as I doubt they will be happy about them being here. Also, a lot of people use the social club so when everyone gets together and has a few drinks there could be problems.'

Charlie West, 70, who also lives nearby said there were tensions last time they were here after they parked on land belonging to the football club.

'˜They turned up and camped on the ground by the football club which led to the club parking a van to block the travellers, who then told the club 'if you don't move it then we will',' Charlie said. '˜In the end the club moved the van and by the next day the travellers had gone.'

He added: '˜I've lived here for 40 years but have never seen them on the recreation ground before. There's quite a few of them here and they just drive over the grass.

'˜One friend told me he won't park his car down here now and I'm a bit concerned some of my things could get stolen.'

Horndean Parish Council, which owns the land, has taken swift action. '˜We've issued notices and taken appropriate action to remove them so hopefully they will be off the land soon,' a spokesperson for the council said.

Despite being issued with notices, travellers on Southsea Common and Ferry Road in Eastney remain on site and show no sign of leaving.