Residents worried as travellers pitch up in park in the middle of Portsmouth housing estate

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Residents say they are ‘worried’ after travellers suddenly descended on a park in a Portsmouth housing estate.

The group of three caravans and a truck arrived last night in John Wesley Gardens at Gatcombe Park, Hilsea.  

Travellers at Gatcombe Park in Hilsea

Travellers at Gatcombe Park in Hilsea

A woman, who preferred to remain anonymous, said: ‘It is a bit of a worry. It’s never happened before. You just don’t know what sort of people they are. They arrived last night but hopefully they will not hang around.’

Another added: ‘The council have been informed and were down here. There were some at Airport Service Road recently so it could be them. Hopefully it’s just a short stay.’

In total, three caravans and a truck were on the site by a children’s playground.

It’s understood that there are four adults and six children in the camp, and that they have been assessed by Portsmouth City Council staff.

They have said that they intend to stay for a week and the council will take legal action to remove the encampment.

Hilsea ward councillor Donna Jones said: ‘The council has responded very quickly to the reports of travellers. A legal notice will be served on Monday which will then mean the council will be looking to be in court by the end of the week to get a formal notice to remove the travellers from the site.

‘I am very aware of the impact of this kind of illegal encampment in a residential place and will be going down there to talk to residents.’

Cllr Jones said that anyone with concerns could contact her at Cllr.Donna.Jones@portsmouthcc.gov.uk