Residents’ fury over illegal traveller site at Sheffield park

The travellers moved onto the site Tuesday afternoon.
The travellers moved onto the site Tuesday afternoon.

Travellers have sparked uproar in after they set up an illegal site at a Sheffield park.  

Caravans arrived at Hillsborough Park on Tuesday afternoon at the Parkside Road car park.

The site still remained open today despite reports made to both South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield  Council.

A concerned resident said: “People feel intimidated because of the traveller’s reputation.

“Dog walkers are worried about letting their dogs off the lead and there were open fires last night.

“There is litter blowing about and bedding hanging out of van windows.”

South Yorkshire Police said officers have attended but there are ‘no reports of crime at the moment’.

The force said officers will continue to monitor the situation.

Another resident, who did to want to be named, said: “There will be a load of litter which will cost thousands to pick up.

“I don’t object to them personally, but they cause havoc and we’ll have to pay for the rubbish to be collected through council tax - they’re not paying council tax.”

Neil Wilson, who was waking his dog in the park, said: “It’s difficult. That’s the life they choose to live, but if they impact on other people it’s an issue.

“They’ve got a choice and if they want to live like that, then fair comment. But they shouldn’t encroach on other people.”

Sheffield Council tweeted this morning that officials are ‘aware of the caravans that arrived in Hillsborough Park’ and ‘will be working alongside South Yorkshire Police to bring this to a speedy resolution’.

Travellers on-site refused to speak to The Star when approached.

Sheffield Council's cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods Jim Steinke said: “We have visited Hillsborough Park and spoken to the group of French travellers who are currently staying in the car park on Parkside Road.

“We have explained that they do not have authorisation to occupy the land and are currently trespassing and will need to vacate the land – and they have assured us it is their intention to only stay for a few  days.

“We are providing them with bin bags so they can leave the park in a suitable condition and have carried out checks because there are children on the site.

“We will keep monitoring the situation to ensure they do move off the land and we do not expect park users to be affected. We are having discussions with Sheffield Wednesday about match day parking arrangements.

“We will carry out a further visit tomorrow and make further checks over the coming days to ensure they have vacated the site as soon as possible.”