Hastings council reveals why it has not moved St Leonards caravans

Hastings Borough Council has explained why it has not moved caravans from a St Leonards road despite announcing it was ordering travellers to leave Hastings Country Park.

Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 2:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 2:03 pm
Travellers arrived at Hastings Country Park

On Tuesday (April 23), Hastings Borough Council said it was working with Sussex Police and the county council to have the group moved on from the nature reserve.

In response to the council’s comments, a number of residents contacted the Hastings Observer to ask what the council was planning to do with caravans parked in Sea Road, St Leonards.

The issue was put to Hastings Borough Council which said it has been receiving complaints about this area for the last two years.

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A spokesman for the council said the complaints relate to a range of issues from anti-social behaviour and concerns about the disposal of human waste and rubbish, to the affect the caravans are having on tourism and the local economy.

The spokesman added: “They are in caravans in on-street parking bays operated by East Sussex County Council.

“They do not have consent to live there from Hastings Borough Council or East Sussex County Council.

“They are not travellers, and generally don’t appear to have a vehicle to tow the caravan.”

The council said it operates a wide range of housing initiatives to support homeless people.

A spokesman added: “It also works extremely closely with outreach services operated by organisations such as Seaview to support people in the street community with alcohol, drug and mental health issues.

“The council and its partners are continuing to work with the occupants of the caravans, offering advice and assistance to support them to find a permanent housing solution.”

The spokesman said the council is now considering its next steps.

They added: “Due to the ongoing complaints and the negative impact on the local community and environment the council is preparing legal cases to apply to the courts for repossession of our land, and the occupants of the caravans have been visited and served with warning letters advising them that they do not have consent to be there and the council is taking action to address this.”

Last week, Hastings Borough Council said plans to extend the prohibition on sleeping overnight in vehicles so it includes Sea Road is in consultation until May 10.

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