A GROUP of travellers have ignored an eviction notice after setting up camp in the Farnham Leisure Centre car park last week.
Around six caravans first arrived in the council-owned Dogflud Way car park on Thursday, April 6, but this number had increased to around 14 by Monday afternoon.
This is despite Waverley Borough Council issuing a Section 77 notice demanding the caravans depart by 5pm on Saturday.
It is believed Surrey Police has since issued its own notice for the travellers to leave by this Wednesday (April 12).
Wheelie bins and portable toilets have also been delivered to the site, following complaints from members of the public that the caravans’ occupants had been using the car park as a toilet.
This, according to a council spokesman, is to ensure the travellers “cause less of a nuisance to the community”.
Waverley’s planning enforcement officers have also undertaken welfare checks at the site “to make sure any young people are not at risk”.
The illegal incursion has solicited a negative response online from members of the ‘Farnham Rants’ Facebook group.
Many complained they are struggling to find parking spaces as a result of the caravans, and others questioned whether they should also be allowed to park their cars without paying for a ticket.
In one post, a Facebook user commented: “I’ve got nothing against travellers really, but when they turn up, 10 or more caravans, take up over half of the sports centre car park, leave litter, are intimidating to the point where people don’t feel safe leaving their cars there, let their kids run around unattended to the point where they try and run out in front of our car…then I have a problem”.
Responding specifically to the parking issue, the council spokesman added: “It’s true they are not paying parking fees, but they are also not using the car park as a car park.
“They’ve taken over a piece of land for something it is not intended for, and it is therefore covered by a separate piece of legislation.”