As reported, travellers arrived at Wecock Recreation Ground on Tuesday night with around 10 caravans, cars, pick-up trucks and other vehicles swamping the location – with four-by-fours seen “skidding and going around the play area”. Litter has also been seen in the “churned-up” area with other posts and barriers removed.
The incident enraged a nearby resident who warned the council three months ago that travellers would exploit an insecure access area to the recreation ground – before seeing his fears come to fruition.
The local told The News that damage and the clean-up operation to the recreation ground will now “probably cost thousands of pounds” to Havant Borough council, rather than what would have been a modest sum to replace posts made loose by youngsters that surrounded the new play area.
Police have now confirmed the travellers left last night after being served an eviction notice.
A spokeswoman for Havant Borough Council said on Thursday evening: “The council gained an eviction notice on Thursday from Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court, this was served with the assistance of the police at 6pm.
“Should the unauthorised encampment still be on site on Friday the council will instruct bailiffs to attend the site on Friday afternoon.”
The resident had told The News on Thursday: “It annoys me because they could have stopped this if they had listened. It will now probably cost thousands of pounds rather than just £1,000 for a few posts. I told Havant Borough Council about three months ago and they said it was nothing to do with them.”
An email from the council representative to the resident on Wednesday read: “We share your frustration regarding the incursion by the travelling community at Wecock Open Space. Colleagues are taking the necessary steps to take legal action to evict them as soon as possible.
“The council has improved defences at many sites in the borough, but the sad fact of the matter is that if a group is determined enough and has the right equipment, these can be overcome with criminal damage.”