A large traveller encampment has been set up on a playing field behind a Southampton leisure centre. 

At least 15 vehicles including caravans and cars arrived on land behind Chamberlayne Leisure Centre early this morning. 

The encampment has been set up on the left-hand side of the field directly behind Weston Park Primary School. 

Southampton City Council has confirmed that it is aware of the encampment and is now working with partners to decide how to proceed. 

Travellers set up camp behind Chamberlayne Leisure Centre in SouthamptonTravellers set up camp behind Chamberlayne Leisure Centre in Southampton (Image: NQ)

A spokesperson told the Echo: "We are aware of the encampment that has been set up at Chamberlayne Leisure Centre and our Community Safety Team will be working with key partners to complete welfare checks this morning to decide how to proceed.

"Any reports of criminal activity or anti-social behaviour should be reported by the police by calling 101 or via their online reporting facility: Report | Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary.

"We will liaise with the police and occupants of the encampment to resolve this situation and reduce any impact on the community.

"More updates can be found on our website: Managing unauthorised encampments (including Gypsy and Traveller sites) (southampton.gov.uk)"

One resident who lives nearby said a "huge number" of people broke through one of the barriers to get onto the field. 

They added that police have attended the scene since. 

It comes just over a year after a similar encampment was set up at Mayfield Park opposite the leisure centre in May 2023. 

The Echo understands Chamberlayne Leisure Centre remains open as usual and will close at its normal time of 9.30pm. 

Active Nation, which managed the centre said: "Active Nation are aware of the incursion and unauthorised encampment and are supporting Southampton City Council, the landowners, to come to a resolution.

"The unauthorised encampment is not currently occupying land managed by the health and well-being charity, Active Nation."

Travellers also arrived at Fareham Leisure Centre earlier this week. 

Hampshire Constabulary and Weston Park Primary School have been approached for comment.