Off-limits to travellers – 12 areas of Brighton and Hove granted special protection

Posted On 14 Jul 2016 at 7:42 pm

Twelve areas of Brighton and Hove have been granted special protection from travellers after a vote by councillors this afternoon (Thursday 14 July).

The 12 sites will be subject to a “public spaces protection order” (PSPO) which is intended to tackle anti-social behaviour.

The order – to be made by Brighton and Hove City Council – sets out prohibited behaviours which would include

  • occupying any vehicle, caravan, tent or other structure
  • driving any vehicle on grass
  • littering or fly-tipping
  • lighting or maintaining a fire
  • defecating or urinating

The order would empower the council or police to

  • remove any vehicle, caravan, tent or other structure within 12 hours
  • dispose of items as directed
  • put out any fires
  • require people to give their name, address and date of birth

A report to councillors said that the orders were intended to tackle anti-social behaviour that was

  • having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality
  • persistent or continuous and
  • unreasonable

The 12 sites are

  • The Greenway next to the railway in the New England Quarter
  • Hollingbury Park
  • Lawn Memorial Cemetery and adjacent land in Woodingdean
  • Preston Park
  • Rottingdean Recreation Ground
  • The seafront including the A259 from Black Rock to Hove Lagoon
  • Sheepcote Valley and East Brighton Park
  • St Helen’s Green
  • Stanmer Park
  • Surrenden Field
  • Waterhall
  • Wild Park

Some of the sites are sensitive because they have heritage status, are heavily used or are next to densely populated areas.

The report said: “Breaching a PSPO is a criminal offence. A fixed penalty notice can be issued or a summons can be served.

“It is suggested that a fixed penalty notice carries a fine of £75. This is the same fine that is applied to a fixed penalty notice in relation to littering and fly-tipping. The amount of the fine will be kept under review.

“If police are not satisfied regarding the identification or an address given by an offender they can arrest under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

“A breach of a PSPO can be enforced by a council or police officer.

“People staying in these locations include ethnically defined gypsies and travellers who tend to use large caravans and towing vehicles, new travellers who use a variety of older large vehicles including caravans, people who choose to sleep in tents rather than rough sleep in the city centre and, in some instances, people camping while visiting Brighton.”

Councillors and officials were warned that making an order could lead to a legal challenge by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. It was among the organisations to submit formal written objections to the council.

The order is being made as the new permanent travellers site is about to open at Horsdean along with the refurbished transit site.

Green councillors Phélim Mac Cafferty and Ollie Sykes voted against the new powers. But they were adopted with the support of the eight Labour and Conservative members of the council’s Policy, Resources and Growth Committee at the Friends’ Meeting House in Brighton.

  1. Gerald Wiley Reply

    Surprise, surprise! So Phelim McCafferty, who instigated the very Traveller’s Policy that allows them to have special protection under the city’s guidelines, voted against the scheme.

    And I wonder who it was that warned Councillors and officials were that making an order could lead to a legal challenge by the Equality and Human Rights Commission?

    I’m just surprised that the public spaces protection order (PSPO) has not been applied to all public spaces in the city. Is it me, but, other than St. Helens, none of the specified PSPOs apply to Hove or Portslade.

    • David drew Reply

      This why the Greens will never be in government they are a protest party for the old hippies

  2. martin lawrence Reply

    Just a small point Harlow imposed a city wide ban , received no legal challenge and has had just a handful of incursions lasting just a few hours since

  3. Alex Reply

    The seafront including the A259 from Black Rock to Hove Lagoon.. start writing the tickets.. is that £75 pr person?

  4. Gary Reply

    Le’s fine the homeless seventy five quid.

    • dazzle Reply

      I hope that you dont find yourself homeless in the future, it is NOT a pleasant or indeed chosen way of life surviving on the streets…

  5. Steve Allen Reply

    So…. down by the king Alfred?
    Funny that, I can spend 6 minutes too long in a bay or park in the wrong spot and get wardens on my case.. these guys do what they like and no one does a thing

  6. Peter Reply

    I look forward to seeing how B&HCC put this into practice and how much support both they and the police give to this. Personally I am totally peed off with the constant cycle of travellers illegally busting the padlocks at Waterhall, moving onto the pitches for 3 weeks while a possession order is obtained, getting moved on and 2 weeks later moving back again. The current unauthorised encampment must be the 4th or 5th this year, roll on next Friday.

    • susan Reply

      I saw they were all back on Waterhall , have the kids started football yet if so that will be disrupted i expect , can anyone explain the mentality of the way they park up and take over the whole park ? And why is everyone so intimidated by Travellers ?

      • Brian Reply

        Susan, I’ve always wondered that myself. The reason is, I think, because of their really scary attitude, plus they have enormous back-up. Have you seen one of the episodes of “Can’t pay?, we’ll take it away!” on television, where the two High Court enforcers whilst carrying out an eviction, were murderously stoned by two of the children? That was really frightening, because kids of that age cannot be reasoned with nor prosecuted! It was like “Lord of the Flies”!

  7. hoveite Reply

    So this was passed last week? Does anyone know when this comes into effect? The travellers camped out on Hove Lawns by the King Alfred have been there since the weekend. The Council website states there is a hearing today (21st July) to seek possession of the land followed by eviction ‘as soon as practicable’. No mention of a PSPO whatsoever.

  8. Amber Reply

    The travellers are on wild park as we speak let’s see whether the council keep their word !! And also see if this article is true or not

  9. Amanda Rocca Reply

    Hove lawns last night and today. Washing lines erected between the lampposts with a full line of washing on display and rubbish strewn across the lawns with path being obstructed due to table and chairs being set up

  10. Arthur Reply

    Good God! Not washing on lines!!!

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