Dorset

Work to prevent Poole unauthorised traveller camps begins

Illegal travellers site set up in Poole in August 2013
Image caption Six sites will be secured in Poole including Whitecliff and Branksome Recreation Ground

Work to improve security at six parks and open spaces in Poole and prevent them becoming unauthorised traveller sites has begun.

Verity Park in Canford Heath, Branksome, Broadstone and Whitecliff Recreation Ground, along with open space at Baiter will be protected.

Measures include enhanced gates, soil embankments at boulders being placed at some sites, the borough council said.

All the sites have previously been used for unauthorised encampments.

The move follows the Borough of Poole planning committee's rejection of two temporary sites at Creekmoor and Oakdale.

In April the council decided to use about £230,000 previously allocated to creating the temporary sites to secure these six sites instead.

Conservative councillor Xena Dion said: "It has to be said that these works will not make a site completely secure.

"All our parks and open spaces still require access to be available for emergency services, maintenance vehicles and people with disabilities.

"However, these improvements will make it harder for unauthorised vehicles to access these sites."

The authority has said it would not pursue finding temporary sites in the borough this summer.

However, work has started to create one at Piddlehinton after plans for it were approved by Dorset County Council earlier this month.

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