A children's sporting event could be cancelled because pregnant travellers are being allowed to stay at a car park.

Five caravans turned up at Waterhall in Brighton and without full use of all the car parks the Sussex Cross Country meet scheduled for 600 children next Wednesday will be cancelled.

After a joint assessment by Sussex Police and Brighton and Hove City Council an eviction order was sought but three of the five families are not being evicted.

The families told the Argus three women living there are pregnant.

One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I think it was yesterday the police woman came down.

“I am having a girl, there is me, this girl [next-door] and another one.

“I am due on the fourteenth, the others around the same time. There is a couple of weeks between us. I will be going to hospital – they have been really good.”

Another cross country event involving 200 Brighton and Hove youngsters will go ahead as scheduled today, but organiser Chris Jones, chairman of Brighton and Hove Schools Athletics Association and championship secretary for Sussex Schools Cross Country, did not think the parents would feel comfortable seeing children on a course near travellers.

He said: “We’re going ahead with the event but I’ll have to alter the track.

“I’m not going to deny 200 kids the opportunity to run and gain experience.

“But next week, I’ll need all of those car parks because there are 600 kids registered, so I would have to cancel.

“This is a designated sports area, not a travellers’ camping site.”

Police are now looking into options to move the other two families.

A spokeswoman said: “Police and council are aware of the sensitivity of the location of this encampment and the events due to take place.

“Careful consideration has been given to the full circumstances surrounding this encampment and the use of police powers has been reviewed in respect of the two extended families not currently exempt from eviction.

“The use of these powers has not been considered lawful or proportionate in these particular circumstances.”

Jason Tams, of Brighton Rugby Football Club, who play at Waterhall, fears fixtures could be cancelled and questioned the city’s travel liaison team’s decision, labelling them “too soft”.