COUNCIL officials have started proceedings to evict travellers from Poole’s Baiter Park.
Yesterday, there were eight caravans and associated vehicles parked up at the corner of the popular public park.
Four more caravans moved onto the site sometime over the weekend, doubling the size of the unauthorised encampment.
Borough of Poole officers had already served half the caravans with direction orders, a pre-cursor to securing eviction orders through the courts.
The council’s environmental and consumer protection team manager, Jeff Morley, confirmed officers have visited the site and that a skip was being provided to ensure it remains tidy.
He explained: “Direction orders have been served requiring the travellers to leave the site. Court time has also been booked for Thursday to apply for an eviction order, subject to the court granting the eviction order the group has 24 hours to leave the site after it has been served.”
One Baiter resident, who asked not to be named, told the Daily Echo: “They’re out of the way from the point of view of the houses, but it’s a bit of an eyesore for people using the park.
“I know people have different lifestyles and we have to respect that, but the general feeling is, rightly or wrongly, that there is one law for one set of people, and another for the rest of us.
“Saying that, I’ve not heard of any problems over the weekend. Hopefully there will not be too much of a mess left to clear up.”
Another resident, who witnessed one of the travellers’ vans driving onto the park last week, said it was unfair that so many people now felt intimidated in what is a public open space.
“My partner’s mother likes to sit up on the benches, but she won’t do that now while they are there.
“A lot of people in the community say they feel intimidated.”
Initially, four caravans moved onto a car park at Baiter Park last week.
These caravans were then driven onto the main parkland sometime between last Thursday night and last Friday morning.
At the end of last week, Borough of Poole served direction orders on those first four caravans, in anticipation of going to court to seek eviction orders sometime this week.
Meanwhile, at a separate site at Fleetsbridge, Poole, four traveller caravans remain at land adjacent to Staples car park and Christopher Crescent.
Comments have been opened on this story but please note: any reference to gypsies or any racially offensive term will cause them to be closed and you may find your account suspended. Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are legally recognised as ethnic groups, and protected by the Race Relations Act. Please keep your comments to this particular incident and do not generalise. Thanks for your co-operation.