Illegal traveller camp at Chichester car park

A travellers' camp
A travellers' camp

A GROUP of travellers are currently occupying the car park at Chichester Festival Theatre after moving in last week.

Around ten caravans are stationed in the Northgate Car Park after arriving last Thursday and West Sussex County Council is currently working to remove them.

A new transit site at Westhampnett was launched last month but delays in its opening means it is currently not ready to move the group to.

“We hope the new transit site will be open by the end of April,” a West Sussex County Council spokesman said.

“We are just waiting for some building works to be completed. If the site can be opened sooner than this then we will do so.

“We are taking legal steps to move on the travellers at Northgate car park. This should be completed by the end of this week.”

The travellers and gypsy transit site in Westhampnett cost £1.2m to build and includes provision for nine pitches.

It will be run by the county council and when it is operational, Sussex Police will have the power to move unauthorised encampments from around the county to the site, providing there is space.

A spokesman for Chichester District Council added: “A group of travellers moved onto Northgate car park in Chichester on Thursday evening.

“We are working with West Sussex County Council to resolve this as soon as possible under our agreement to work together on unauthorised encampments.

“In future, we will be able to direct travellers to the West Sussex Transit Site. This will hopefully be operational towards the end of the month.”