TRAVELLERS will not be moved on from a popular park.

Brighton and Hove City Council said it will not be evicting travelling families from Patcham Place, in part due to coronavirus restrictions.

The council also said the Horsdean transit site, which provides temporary and permanent pitches for travellers, was now full due to “public health concerns”.

The caravans moved into the Patcham Place site, off London Road near the A27, last week.

Conservative councillor Lee Wares was seeking their immediate eviction.

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However, councillor Gill Williams, chairwoman of the housing committee, said: “We were made aware of an encampment consisting of one vehicle and two caravans at Patcham Place and carried out a site visit with Sussex Police.

“Jointly, the decision was made not to carry out enforcement action at this time as S61 powers were not applicable or appropriate in this instance.

“We also took into account current Covid-19 guidance which says that enforcement action shouldn’t be taken unless there are exceptional circumstances.”

This came after a dozen vehicles drove into Preston Park overnight on May 23.

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The next day, the caravans were still there and the council and police issued an order for them to leave under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.

The vehicles did leave the site on May 24, but then it was reported that vehicles had parked at Peacehaven Community School.

Responding to concerns from the community around the Patcham Place site, Cllr Wares said: “We know that Patcham Place is a popular open space that is even more important during lockdown.

“There are also cricket and football pitches on the area that are easily destroyed.

“Equally access on the area is only possible by driving across the pavement on to the A23 which is dangerous.

“We have asked the council and the police to organise an immediate eviction using Section 61 or 62a powers.

“We have also advised them that Horsdean transit site is open and has, according to the council’s website, 13 available transit pitches.

“We have also reminded the council and the police that the Open Spaces and Disused Burial Ground Byelaw 1954 as amended for Brighton remains in force and Patcham Place is listed.

“These bylaws make the act of driving across the pleasure grounds illegal and offenders liable on summary conviction to a fine.

“The council and the police have ample powers to bring this matter to a swift end and there is space at Horsdean for the families to use.”

The council responded that the Horsdean transit site is not available at the moment due to public health concerns over shared facilities for the households already there.