TRAVELLERS are playing a game of cat and mouse with council officials, pulling onto Branksome’s Beach Road car park just hours before an eviction notice would have forced them to leave Poole’s Baiter Park.
A dozen traveller caravans and two motor homes drove onto the upper tier of the Beach Road car park earlier today, hours after the unauthorised encampment was served with an eviction notice at Baiter.
Borough of Poole have confirmed that some of the travellers at Beach Road are the same as those who moved on from Baiter around 7am on Friday.
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Poole council’s regulatory team manager Jeff Morley said: “We are aware that the travellers who have recently been occupying Baiter Park have now left the site.
“Some of these travellers have now set up an unauthorised encampment on the top part of Beach Road car park.
“The remaining areas of the car park are however still open for public use.
“As this car park is particularly well-used during the school summer holidays we will be serving the group with direction orders on Monday.”
Direction orders are a pre-cursor to securing court time, where officers will apply for an eviction order.
Mr Morley, said: “If they do not move on we will take this matter to court on Wednesday.”
The borough also insists moves will soon be underway to secure the site at Baiter – by placing a large number of Purbeck stones around the entrance to prevent further vehicle access.
Holiday-makers continued to use Beach Road car park, as it is close to Poole’s popular Branksome Beach.
Visitor Thomas Morrison said: “I can see why some people may feel uncomfortable parking their cars when there’s a lot of traveller caravans parked up, but if anything, at least there’s a human presence here to deter criminals.”
Nearby residents had a different take on the situation.
One, who asked not to be named by the Daily Echo, said: “Frankly, it is worrying for a lot of neighbours to have them setting up home in the car park.
“They’ve been in there before and it does feel intimidating to a certain degree.”
Borough of Poole also served direction orders on the unauthorised encampment adjacent to Staples car park, Fleetsbridge.
If this group do not leave the site, the council will go to court on Wednesday to seek an eviction order.
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