Travellers leave Chichester’s Northgate car park

Travellers moved into the car park at Chichester Festival Theatre despite a transit site supposedly opening at nearby Westhampnett SUS-150804-093548001
Travellers moved into the car park at Chichester Festival Theatre despite a transit site supposedly opening at nearby Westhampnett SUS-150804-093548001

CARAVANS that arrived on Chichester District Council’s Northgate car park have departed, after being on site for nearly a week.

Approximately ten caravans arrived last Thursday evening (April 2) and remained over the bank holiday weekend.

Chichester Northgate car park after the caravans had departed

Chichester Northgate car park after the caravans had departed

There was a listing at Worthing Magistrates’ Court this morning (April 9) for the ‘occupants of caravans’ in the Northgate car park.

They were charged with failing to leave land yesterday (April 8), despite being issued with a direction to leave by Chichester District Council.

However, the caravans have now departed. They arrived before a newly-built transit site in Stane Street, Westhampnett, could be completed.

The site cost £1.25m and was ‘officially launched’ on March 16 with a grand ceremony.

As with any building project, there are the final bits and pieces that need to be finished off before we can officially hand the site across to West Sussex County Council

Chichester District Council

Speaking yesterday, the district council said: “In March, we marked the practical completion of the transit site. This is when the main building work on the site was completed and was the point at which we received the funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.

“At this point we said that we aimed to be fully operational towards the end of April.

“As with any building project, there are the final bits and pieces that need to be finished off before we can officially hand the site across to West Sussex County Council so that staff can familiarise themselves with the site before its fully operational. We hope that this will be very soon.”

The site has nine pitches and when operational will allow police to move illegal encampments onto the transit site immediately. If they refuse, police will escort them out of the county.