TRAVELLERS have set up camp without permission on disused land used as a match day car park opposite Sheffield Wednesday football ground - sparking calls for the site to be cleared up after two decades of dereliction.
Residents and businesses around Penistone Road, Hillsborough, are unhappy about the state of the land, formerly home to a car dealership, and have called for it to be redeveloped.
They fear the travellers will leave it in a worse state.
Around 10 caravans moved onto the land on Wednesday. None of the travellers were willing to comment but one businessman from the area said: “The site used to be a Kennings car dealership but after it closed 20 years ago, it has not been used apart from when it’s a car park on matchdays.
“It’s owned by Tesco and, from time to time, we receive a letter asking us whether we would object if they built a store but no concrete proposals have ever been made.
“The travellers haven’t caused any problems - nobody even noticed them moving on - but the concern is that the site will be left in an even worse state when they have gone. What will they do with their rubbish? And they have no toilets.”
A resident, who did not wish to be named, added: “The land has been disused for so long and is a bit of an eyesore. It could be used to create jobs.
“The issue with the travellers would be if they left any mess behind and who would be responsible for clearing it up.”
Sheffield Council and South Yorkshire Police say they have received no complaints about the travellers.
A spokesman for Tesco saidthe travellers do not have permission to be on the land and added they were “looking into the matter urgently”.
The company did not reveal what its future plans are for the site, which is close to Morrison’s at Hillsborough Barracks and planned Asda and Sainsbury’s stores.