Travellers are back at Chester‘s Greyhound Retail Park .
In February three caravans and associated vehicles settled at the same spot.
John Lewis has recently fitted height restricting barriers at the entrances to the site after caravans previously parked up on the car park itself at the rear of the store.
Meanwhile, caravans have now gone from Morrisons supermarket car park at the Bache after the fourth visitation by Travellers in six months.
Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) has a ‘Myth Buster’ section on its website which explains why Gypsies and Irish Travellers park up on the side of the road.
It states: “There are not enough authorised places for them to stop; they may be attending a family wedding or funeral in the area, or they are travelling through to one of the many horse fairs and need to stop.
“These are called unauthorised encampments. The Government defines them as 'encampments of caravans and/or other vehicles on land without the landowner or occupier’s consent'; trespass is a civil rather than criminal offence.
“Nationally, 21% of all Gypsies and Irish Travellers living in caravans are homeless; this means they have nowhere legally to park their caravan. One solution to this would be to provide permanent and transit sites (site intended for short stays - such sites are usually permanent, but there is a limit on the length of time residents can stay).”
CWaC says it has set up and managed a temporary ‘accepted’ encampment within Ellesmere Port , ‘saving the council and private landowners legal costs’.
The web article adds: “We are keen to take a proactive approach to tackling the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers and are in the process of identifying suitable pieces of land for sites.”