Council taking legal action after travellers ‘defy’ request to leave Winchester park and ride

LEGAL action is being taken by the county council to remove a group of travellers from a park and ride car park on the edge of Winchester. Civic chiefs at Hampshire County Council say the group have already defied a request to vacate the South Winchester Park & Ride after both police and council representatives visited the site. An eviction order is now being sought by the authority to turf out the travellers, almost a week after they first set up camp.

READ MORE: Travellers set up camp at a Winchester park and ride car park A spokesperson for the council said: “We are aware of the travellers who are currently located without prior permission on county council-owned land, adjacent to South Winchester Park & Ride. “Following a site visit to assess the situation and to discuss welfare issues, we have issued a notice to request the travellers vacate the land, however this has not been complied with.

We are now seeking a court hearing to progress an eviction order.” SEE ALSO: Travellers leave ‘shocking’ mess on Shedfield Common Travellers ‘took over’ part of the car park earlier this week, with residents reportedly seeing pickup trucks towing caravans towards the park and ride on Monday.

When the Chronicle visited the site on Thursday there were around five large caravans and a number of work vehicles parked by the treeline at the far end of the lot. Hampshire Police has said it is ‘aware’ of the unauthorised encampment and has already sent officers to ‘assess the situation’. A spokesperson said: “We are working closely with the landowners, Winchester City Council, to seek a suitable resolution.”

This isn’t the first time the park and ride car park has been used as a base for an illegal settlement. In 2017, a group of more than 50 travellers moved onto the site. Just last year, a further 19 caravans were moved on from the Otterbourne Road location.

Other park and ride car parks, including St Catherine’s, have also proved popular spots. Message from the editor Thank you for reading this story.

We really appreciate your support.

Please help us to continue bringing you all the trusted news from your area by sharing this story or by following our Facebook page.