THE residents who look after Hamworthy Park say the first traveller incursion to ever happen there is a “nightmare”.
A councillor has now called for a permanent site and Poole council will be returning to court to evict the new camp.
Eight caravans and one motorhome moved onto popular Hamworthy Park on Sunday evening, while an additional three caravans were driven onto the recreation ground at Turlin Moor, just over a mile away, close to the same time.
“This is our worst nightmare,” said Pat Bullock, chairman of the Friends of Hamworthy Park of the first invasion by travellers on to the popular Green Flag park, which hosts the borough’s only paddling pool.
And she hit out at the council for not protecting the vulnerable park. “They have never bothered with the park. This is always something we have feared.”
She said she always complained about the access gate being left unlocked, but the travellers had taken out a post and used the emergency exit at the car park to drive across the grass to the eastern end of the park.
“They must think they are on the Costa del Sol with the paddling pool and the sea,” she said.
Cllr Judy Butt, who lost her cabinet portfolio post in February after standing up for residents opposing a summer traveller transit site in her Creekmoor ward, said it was essential that a permanent site was found.
“The concerns and fears of residents are clearly understood regarding the latest incursions,” she said. “It is imperative that we in Poole council effect the planned open space protection proposals immediately and further consideration be given to other areas, such as Hamworthy Park and Turlin Rec for improved protections.
“However, these incursions will never be resolved without a permanent transit site and all energies should be directed towards achieving this.
The failed TSP (temporary stopping place) proposals would not have provided for the number of caravans involved.”
Peter Haikin, regulatory services manager, Borough of Poole, said: “Officers have visited both sites today, and Direction Orders were served to the group currently at Hamworthy Park. If they do not move on we will aim to take this matter to court on Wednesday.
“The groups previously camped at Baiter Car Park and Hatchard’s Field both moved on over the weekend.
“Hatchard’s Field was left clean and tidy, while a clean-up to remove the small amount of domestic refuse left at Baiter has been arranged.”
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