THE FIRST travellers have moved onto a newly-built £1.25 million transit site (Tuesday, May 12).
The caravans were illegally parked on the highway in Halewick Lane, Sompting but were moved onto the specially-built site in Westhampnett.
The site is the first of its kind to be built in West Sussex and is designed to reduce the number of unauthorised encampments in the county.
It is a multi-council initiative which gives police extra powers to deal with travellers.
Christine Field, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for community wellbeing, said: “It is good to see the first groups being moved onto the site which means it is already reducing unauthorised encampments in our county. In turn this means reduced disruption to local communities.
“It is important that the accommodation needs of all gypsies and travellers who pass through our county are adequately addressed, and that the disruption an unauthorised encampment can cause to local residents and land owners is minimised.”
Authorities have been full of praise for the site, despite villagers in Westhampnett previously voicing their strong discontent at the scheme.
The site is located off Stane Street, in Westhampnett, close to the refuse depot and opposite land planned for 300 houses.
The new site includes nine short-stay pitches, toilet and shower facilities and an office for the manager of the site.
The site will be managed by West Sussex County Council.
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