Traveller camp near Lake Meadows park

Article by The Echo: The traveller encampment that was based at a community centre in Billericay have set up camp closer to the town centre.

The encampment which arrived at Hannakins Farm in Linda Gardens last week have now made home at the car park in Radford Crescent.

Members of the public have said there are around five caravans based on the site of the car park, which backs onto Lake Meadows park.

The camp was first reported to have arrived in Billericay at around 10pm last night. The camp has taken up a large area of the back right side of the car park.

Essex Police's Gypsy, Traveller and Rural Engagement Team arrived at the car park this morning to assess the encampment.

The team tweeted that they are working with Basildon Council to get the group moved off soon.

Before they arrived at Radford Crescent, the community centre at Hannakins Farm was at risk of closure as the trustees were concerned the group would stop them offering up the clubs and activities they hold every day.

When the traveller encampment arrived at Hannakins Farm, Mike Nye, a trustee of the community centre, said:

“Right now, we are trying to decide whether we can open parts of the centre to the public. We have 1,500 people a week coming through the centre, with 30 different activities happening, so we are having to work out how to give people and businesses the chance to use the centre."

Basildon Council have been approached for comment following the travellers' arrival.

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