Dozens of caravans return to Wild Park as closure of official traveller pitch means they cannot be moved on
Scores of caravans have returned to Wild Park just two days after a large camp was evicted – a scene which police have warned will become commonplace over the next year now the city’s official traveller site has closed for building work.
Families living at the Horsdean transit site have now left ahead of the year-long building 12 new permanent pitches to add to the existing transit pitches, which will be reduced from 23 to 21.
The travellers currently in Wild Park have not come from Horsdean, but without an available site to direct them to, police are not able to move unauthorised camps on unless there is public disorder.
Instead, Brighton and Hove City Council must apply for a court order, a process which can take several days or even weeks.
Once the Horsdean site is up and running next year, police will be more frequently able to direct travellers there using Section 62a of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, which requires official transit pitches to be available in the city for more than three months.
Proposals to create a temporary traveller site at Hangleton Bottom were ruled out in June because of safety concerns over road access to the site, which would have to be either via a housing estate or straight onto a main road.
Meanwhile, the estimated cost of the new site has now risen to £2.4million from £1.7million, in part down to extra work on the site drainage after the Environment Agency raised concerns.