Residents’ fury as travellers invade land

PARKED UP The travellers are on waste ground off Station Road in Drayton
PARKED UP The travellers are on waste ground off Station Road in Drayton

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TRAVELLERS have sparked fury by moving onto land in Portsmouth.

Residents contacted the police after seven caravans appeared on the vacant site to the west of Station Road, in Drayton, which used to house a Southern Co-operative dairy.

Neighbours are concerned that the group – which gained entry to the site around 6.30pm on Thursday – will leave a mess behind.

The occupied land is owned by London-based firm, Tiger Developments Limited, which bought the site for more than £6m in 2006.

As they are on private land, Portsmouth City Council is not involved in dealing with the travellers.

It is up to the landowners to pay for any clear-up costs or legal action to get them moved on.

But people living near the site want to see something done.

Retired teacher George Ellis, 76, said: ‘I don’t think many people are happy to see them arrive in the area.

‘They leave behind an awful mess which we are going to be left to clear up – and don’t pay any rent or taxes.

‘Provide them with their own proper site and let them look after it, because at the moment they don’t take responsibility.’

His neighbour in Station Road, Lorraine Esfandmozd, 66, saw the travellers arrive.

‘First there was one that turned up, then another and another,’ she said.

‘It worries me because there are no facilities over there, so they should really find somewhere more suitable. Especially if they have children.’

Drayton and Farlington Councillor, Steve Wemyss, said: ‘We have no jurisdiction in this case, but I sympathise with residents’ concerns.’

Tiger Developments and the travellers declined to comment.