A COUNCIL leader has hit out at the “expensive legal process” to remove travellers from land after a spate of encampments in Eastleigh.

A number of travellers pitched up across the borough last month.

This includes the two recent unauthorised encampments at Chalcroft Way and Fleming Park – costing the council around £5,000 in the aftermath.


Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, Cllr Keith House said the amount spent “can’t be right.”

He said: “Despite pledges of a solution from the government, landowners still have to go through an expensive legal process to remove travellers from their land and suffer the clean-up costs.

“On public land that means taxpayers picking up the bill. That can’t be right.”

A total of 22 caravans set up camp in Fleming Park, land owned by the council, on May 24.

Daily Echo: Travellers at Fleming Park last monthTravellers at Fleming Park last month

Rumours circulated online stating that the travellers dumped human waste in the park’s river.

But Hampshire Constabulary said this was not true.

A spokesperson said: "I have spoken to the local Neighbourhood Policing Team responsible for patrolling the area around Fleming Park and there is nothing to suggest that any such information, or warning, had been given to a member of the public or the wider local community recently."

The travellers left the park two days after their arrival.

READ NEXT: Parents 'livid' as traveller encampment stops 1,000 people from playing football

Earlier that same week, an unauthorised traveller encampment prevented more than 1,000 people from playing football at Stoneham Lane Football Complex.

Travellers set up camp for a total of 29 hours from Monday, May 23 before leaving the Eastleigh complex on Tuesday following police intervention.

The Hampshire FA site suffered damage to the height barrier and grass pitch as a result and a total of 94 football teams could not play their matches or train during this period.

According to the Eastleigh Borough Council website, if travellers pitch up on land owned by the council, they can apply for a possession order.

An assessment visit to the encampment must occur before legal action is taken.

However, land privately owned by a company or individual requires the landowner to obtain a possession order through the county court or magistrates' court.

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this article - we appreciate your support in reading the Daily Echo.

Subscribing to the Echo means you have unrestricted access to the latest news, features and Saints coverage - all with an advertising-light website.

You will also have full access to Saintsplus, your new home for Southampton FC tactical analysis, features and much, much more.

Don't take my word for it - subscribe here to see for yourself.

Follow the latest breaking news in the Southampton area by joining our Facebook group - Southampton News - Breaking News and Incidents

Follow the latest court and crime news on our dedicated Facebook group - Hampshire Court and Crime News