TRAVELLERS camped at Creekmoor’s park and ride site will probably be allowed to stay there until the start of the Dorset Steam Fair, local residents and ward councillors believe.
Nineteen caravans and associated vehicles remain on-site, where Borough of Poole has provided skips and toilets.
Shaun Robson, the borough’s head of environment and consumer protection, says officers continue to “manage and monitor” the situation but confirmed no legal action is being pursued to evict the travellers.
While the council does not specifically say the Creekmoor encampment will remain until the end of the month - when the Dorset Steam Fair gets underway at Tarrant Hinton - it did post the following on its official website yesterday: “Previous evictions have not however prompted the travellers to leave Poole, and further evictions are likely to result in more dispersal across the borough.
“It is likely they are heading for the Dorset Steam Fair. Once possession has been regained we will repair the damage to the boundary and re-secure the site.”
Creekmoor ward councillor John Rampton told the Daily Echo residents had interpreted this as Borough of Poole allowing the unauthorised encampment to remain for the next fortnight.
He said: “From the residents’ point of view it does seem as though Poole council is intent on using the park and ride as a traveller site, which is a very insensitive thing to have done because Creekmoor residents have had to go through hell already this year with the temporary stopping place debacle.
“I can only suspect that the borough is happy to allow the travellers to remain until the start of the steam fair.”
Fellow Creekmoor councillor Judy Butt, who has called for Secretary of State Eric Pickles to “pull his finger out and sort out the traveller issue once and for all”, concurs with Cllr Rampton. She said: “Residents clearly believe the council has agreed to leave the travellers there until the steam fair.”
Meanwhile Cllr Les Burden, who also represents the Creekmoor ward, agreed. He added: “As a retired international referee I think someone needs to be shown the red card over this.”
'Consider the community’
POOLE’S environmental and consumer protection head Shaun Robson explained: “In every case such as this we have to consider the impact that the encampment is having on the local community.
“This is a closed site, so the travellers are not hindering any planned public events or preventing the use of parking or recreational space.
“Should an application for eviction be made now, it is likely to result in further incursions onto open spaces in Poole, as the group has made it clear that they intend to stay in the area.
“However, should the current situation change and evidence of significant detriment to the local community be forthcoming then this would be immediately reviewed and acted upon.”
Four of the caravans and a motor home that had been parked-up at Sterte Esplanade, Poole, pictured above, left the site yesterday.
One caravan remained at the site as the Daily Echo went to press. A skip and a toilet, supplied by Borough of Poole, remain.