POLICE were on hand as a large group of travellers who set up camp near Picket Twenty were evicted. 

At around 1pm today (Wednesday) the group, which consisted of around 30 vehicles, left the park close to Picket Twenty sports pavillion. 

A convoy of caravans, machinary and cars were seen leaving the field via Old Lane, with police and officers from Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) on site while the removal was carried out. 

The travellers first appeared on the green space at around 1pm on Monday, after the sawed off fences blocking access to vehicles. The panels were then chucked into nearby bushes allowing accross the the group. 

Yesterday TVBC issued a notice warning that if they had not left the site by 2pm today they would be removed. 

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Phil North, said: “Following close work with Hampshire Constabulary, we are pleased that the travellers at Picket Twenty have now left the site. I am hugely grateful to our police colleagues and council officers for their exceptional and robust response in ensuring the group left as quickly as possible.

“I understand residents’ frustrations that the travellers were able to gain access to the site. We take security very seriously and had already put measures in place to protect the space, but this group used power tools to cut though perimeter barriers. We must be mindful to balance site safety while ensuring our green spaces can still be enjoyed by the public.

“We will be undertaking a further review of security following a clear-up operation but I am also very grateful to the council staff who were so swift to ensure proceedings to evict the travellers were started within minutes of their arrival.”

Police were seen at other locations in the town where travellers have previously set up encampments.