Fareham council leader vows to crack down on traveller camps

Travellers have set up camp on land off Newgate Lane in Fareham
Travellers have set up camp on land off Newgate Lane in Fareham

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AN ORDER has been obtained to evict travellers from a privately-owned site.

A group of around 30 caravans moved on to a field along Newgate Lane, Fareham, on Friday evening.

Numerous caravans were pitched, with ponies grazing nearby.

Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘For the last couple of invasions, we have not bothered with the courts, we have gone straight to bailiffs.

‘It’s privately-owned land so we can do that.

‘Our attitude is zero tolerance and that’s what should be happening right now.’

It is the first time the travellers have pitched up on that site, although in previous years they have used the nearby disused Focus car park, which is now B&M Stores.

Worried resident Paul McIeish said: ‘They have broken off two sections of fencing to get in.

‘There are dogs tied up, barking at people on the path, scaring people.

‘There’s horses and some chickens, lots of caravans, and there’s not enough room to swing a cat.

‘I have nothing against the people themselves, it’s the mess they leave behind that concerns me.’

Cllr Woodward said: ‘We are fed up to the back teeth with travellers and having to put up with the expense.

‘If it’s not the landowner that is paying, then it’s the council.

‘It’s not just their presence that is the problem, it’s what’s left behind.

‘I have had to send people in with protective clothing on to clear up after them.’

Over the weekend police were at the site, which is on the corner of Longfield Avenue.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: ‘Police officers are visiting the site regularly to assess the situation, and consider options in co-operation with the landowner.’

The travellers had been moved on by police from the Windhover roundabout off junction 8 of the M27, Southampton on Friday.

Cllr Woodward warned other landowners to keep their property secure as the group were being moved on.

Yesterday morning around half of the caravans moved off the site, with the caravans spotted heading along the M27, towards Chichester. Last night four were left, and the council had obtained an eviction order.