Further security measures to be introduced to deter unauthorised encampments in Chichester
Further measures to deter unauthorised encampments on certain open spaces in Chichester will be introduced following a decision by district councillors.
At their meeting on Tuesday 28 November, Chichester District Councillors agreed for £141,000 to be released to fund vehicle deterrent measures at Florence Park; Oaklands Park; Whyke Oval; and, Sherborne Road, which are owned and managed by the district council.
The decision follows a trial project carried out in 2022 to install vehicle deterrents at New Park and East Broyle. This trial has been successful and as a result Chichester District Council is now extending the number of sites included.
Work will involve installing earth bunds around the perimeter of each site and at vulnerable points. The bunds will be the same as those created at New Park and will be continuous, using gentle curves, to ensure they fit in with the surroundings. The bunds will be top dressed with soil and sown with grass seed to blend in with each green space.
The deterrents have been designed so that they do not significantly restrict use of the space and are in keeping with the current 'look and feel' of each site. It is anticipated that work will start next year.
"As a council we have been very proactive in wanting to help all members of our community," explains Councillor Mark Chilton, the council's Cabinet Member for Contract Services. Around ten years ago we supported the gypsy and traveller community by working with our partners to create the transit site at Westhampnett.
"Before deciding on where else needed vehicle deterrents we wanted to see how the trial scheme at New Park and East Broyle worked first. The measures taken here have been shown to be effective and as a result we feel confident in expanding the number of sites.
"The work is being carried out in response to a number of concerns raised by our communities which unfortunately give an unfair, negative image of the vast majority of travellers who abide by the law. The work is part of a rolling programme of improvements to try and make the community spaces that the district council manage more secure.
"We will continue to work closely with residents and partners to regularly review any further actions that we might need to take on open spaces that we manage. I'd also like to express my appreciation for all the feedback and input that our communities have contributed so far as part of this project."
More information about how the council deals with unauthorised encampments can be found on our Chichester District Gypsies and Travellers information page. These pages cover a range of frequently asked questions and explain the process the council and its partners have to follow when an illegal encampment occurs. The page also provides advice for landowners and explains how the Gypsy and Travellers Transit site operates.
Date of Release: 29 November 2023