Earth bunds to stop unauthorised vehicles driving on to Chichester green spaces
Chichester District Council is to spend almost £70,000 on two scheme to stop travellers and others from taking vehicles on to green spaces in the city.
A total of £69,930 will be taken from reserves to pay for earth bunds which will be installed around the sites at New Park and East Broyle.
The money was approved during a meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday (October 5).
Penny Plant, cabinet member for environment & Chichester contract services, told the meeting there had been a number of incursions each year between May and September, with an average of six to ten caravans pitched up on council land.
This year, the incursions included one group of travellers who moved on to the New Park Road recreation ground early in June having been served a notice to move from Oaklands Park two days earlier.
Council officers held meetings with residents in New Park and East Broyle last month to ask for their views on the bund plans – and members were told they had been very well received.
Mrs Plant added: “It is intended that the deterrent measures do not significantly restrict the functionality and enjoyment of both open spaces that the residents have come to enjoy.
“After planning approval, it is hoped to start the work first at East Broyle in early winter of this year and at New Park in the spring of next year.”
The New Park site is bordered by New Park Road, Litten Terrace and Alexandra Road.
The work will cost an estimated £31,130 and will include earth bunds along the west and north boundaries with pedestrian access points along the perimeter.
A vehicle access gate will be built in the north-east corner while bunds and new bollards will be installed along the south boundary.
The East Broyle work will cost an estimated £38,800.
The plan is to bund the entire perimeter of the Norwich Road/St Paul’s Road site with a gated access point in the south corner.
If all goes to plan, the East Broyle work will start in November and be finished by the end of the year, while the New Park work will start in March 2022 and be finished in April.
The bunds will be designed to blend in with the natural environment and will be planted with bulbs.
Officers advised that the council had been cautious with the estimated costs so they were on the high side – but the hope was the work would actually be cheaper.
There was all-round support for the plans, with Liberal Democrat leader Adrian Moss adding: “I think it’s very important we do this. I think it’s a shame but I think it has to be done.”
Leader Eileen Lintill said: “I think the thing here is urgency because I think, whatever happens, it needs to be in place as soon as possible – the end of spring really.
“Hopefully it won’t happen again next year.”
Mrs Lintill took issue with the use of the words ‘traveller incursions’ in the report, saying they were ‘unfortunate’.
She added: “This is not just about traveller incursions, it’s about all vehicular access that is unauthorised to those areas.”