VILLAGERS want tougher action over who lives at a caravan park, with a meeting hearing that  'local people are petrified'.

Charlie Goodall raised the issues about Carousel Park, off Basingstoke Road, at the Micheldever Parish Assembly at East Stratton Village Hall. 

The site is allocated for travelling show people, but it has been home to more than 50 caravans and subject to action by council planners over who is living there.

Around 20 people attended the Micheldever Parish Assembly at East Stratton Village Hall on Wednesday, April 17.

 Mr Goodall said: “People are petrified, they have told me things that would make your hair curl. Very few people have come tonight because they are frightened of retribution from the people in Carousel Park. 

“I really sympathise with the police because this has been happening for years. It's about time for action.”

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The meeting's chairman William Helen said he was disappointed with the situation. He said: “Carousel Park is a bone of contention for us for a long time. We allowed it as a showman's site, we were promised it would be. It's clear that's never been the case. 

“It has been a continuous battle with Winchester City Council. We were hoodwinked from day one. We all know we have day-to-day difficulties we have to deal with. 

“Overall, over the years, we're bitterly disappointed with the situation today. Probably best to leave it at that, otherwise I might get angry.” 

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Mr Goodall told the meeting that rubbish had recently been dumped in Black Wood, next to the caravan park. He added: “According to the Winchester District Gypsy, Traveller and travelling show people Development Plan 2019, it states the land at Carousel Park is allocated for travelling show persons' use. The site should be occupied by people meeting the definition of travelling show people. 

“What I want to know is why Winchester City Council hasn't enforced its own planning laws and regulations?”

The use of the site recently came before a planning inspector who set a number of conditions. 

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Cllr Jackie Porter said: “There was a Winchester City Council enforcement notice at the site some time ago, and it took a long time to come to the planning inspector. There was an enquiry just before Christmas and the result of that came out recently. 

“The inspector decided that the site would be regularised rather than closed or changed. At all times Winchester has taken enforcement action at the site very closely. We have been having meetings about this on a regular basis. 

“The important thing is that there is a very clear set of conditions and the enforcement started by saying they had to clear the site of rubbish. 

“The site goes into Forestry Commission land, they have been dealing with it in their own way. I think the conditions are rigorous. We want to work with the people at the site. It's about regular inspections.”

Cllr Stephen Godfrey added: “I think it's important we take a long term view on this. The council started enforcement action in 2008 and continuous action has been taken against residents of Carousel Park since then. 

“Thousands of pounds of city council money has been spent on enforcing. The problem is planning law in this country is very difficult. We have been working with the police and residents to try and control the situation as best we can.”