New baby delays traveller eviction

The travellers in Northgate car park
The travellers in Northgate car park

TRAVELLERS in three caravans evaded instant eviction from Chichester land after one of their number went into labour.

When six caravans turned up at Northgate car park, in Chichester, the district council took legal action to remove them.

But on the day of a hearing at Worthing Magistrates’ Court last Thursday (July 4), a woman living on the site went into labour.

Roy Nowosielski, speaking in court on behalf of the council, said one of the occupants was taken into St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester, after going into labour.

Mr Nowosielski said: “The problem we have got is, if you approach the car park, the travellers have taken 25 to 30 parking bays.

“That obviously restricts members of the public and they do not want to park anywhere near the caravans.”

He said there had been reports of children sitting on cars and vandalising vehicles and ticket machines.

Between the six vehicles, there were nine or ten children.

The court granted Chichester District Council’s application to remove three of the caravans.

However, magistrates and the council agreed the mother and newborn could stay, along with two other caravans, until they were able to travel.

After the court hearing, a district council spokeswoman said: “We served notice on the group of travellers at Northgate car park in Chichester. Worthing Magistrates’ Court granted our application for an order that some of the vehicles and caravans be removed from the car park.

“Three of the vehicles are not subject to the order to leave the site at this time as one member of the group gave birth at St Richard’s Hospital yesterday.”

During the hearing, Mr Nowsielski said the council would seek eviction for the remaining caravans once a midwife had visited the family, deeming both mother and baby fit for travel. He said that could take up to ten days.

However, the entire group of travellers moved off of the site on Sunday (July 7).

A district council spokeswoman confirmed the site was clear.