'˜Fed up' Chesterfield business chief hits out at illegal traveller camp

A fuming Chesterfield business chief says she is '˜fed up' of travellers illegally invading the car park opposite her firm.

Friday, 26th October 2018, 4:33 pm
Updated Friday, 26th October 2018, 5:38 pm
The encampment at Queen's Park car park.
The encampment at Queen's Park car park.

Donna Hartley is MD at Rompa, an interior design firm that overlooks Queen’s Park car park- a site that has become a hotspot for unauthorised traveller camps.

The latest group of travellers arrived at the weekend but moved on on Tuesday (October 23) after Chesterfield Borough Council served them with a Direction to Leave notice.

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Donna said: “This last episode is as much as we can take.

“It keeps happening intermittently, and each time we get more and more frustrated.

“We encourage staff to walk through the park, but they feel too intimidated. It’s also off-putting for visitors.

“This time the travellers have arrived en masse, and there’s absolutely no space for visitors or residents in the car park.

“I’d like to park my car there without paying for a ticket and if I get fined, I’ll scream hypocrisy.

Donna has also called for greater powers to be given to authorities tasked with tackling the issue.

“The Council say they can only do much. They have failed to put up a barrier which will stop high roofed vehicles entering or taken any other precautions.

“But the thing is, the taxpayer is footing the bill every single time.

“When they travellers do finally get moved on- they leave a mess, and we pay for it.

“It’s disgusting and it needs to stop. And it doesn’t stop with Chesterfield, it’s nationwide.

“There needs to be a change in the law. The Government need to take notice.”

A spokesman for Chesterfield Borough Council said: “As soon as both groups of illegal travellers have arrived on the Queen’s Park North car park we have taken legal action to remove them.

“We are already looking at options to see whether it is feasible to put height restriction barriers on these car parks to prevent illegal caravans from coming in. When considering this we have to remember that, by their nature, these are sites open to the public, so there is always a balance to be had in terms of preventing illegal use while not preventing legitimate use by residents who have vans or other high sided vehicles.”