A community of 50 travellers which made camp on the Hove promenade yesterday have faced down police officers and council authorities by refusing to budge from their new seaside home.
Sussex Police told MailOnline that officers are powerless to break the standoff and forcibly remove the travellers, even though the strip of land on which their caravans are parked is reportedly protected and encampment is banned.
The force said: ‘Police and the city council have attended Hove Lawns after around 50 travellers arrived there on Saturday afternoon.
‘The council has formally requested them to leave. As yet, they have not. At this time, criteria to use our police powers has not been met, but this is being constantly assessed.’
The air of tranquility which normally makes the stretch of coastline so attractive to tourists and holidaymakers evaporated yesterday afternoon when scores of caravans and motorhomes rumbled on to the lawns by the beach.
Aerial photographs show the traveller site as an eyesore on the waterfront and close-up shots reveal rubbish strewn across the neatly-trimmed grass on which the vehicles were parked.
Aerial photographs show the traveller site as an eyesore on Hove waterfront after roughly 50 caravans and motorhomes pitched up on the promenade
Rows of motorhomes and caravans rumbled onto the strip of grass at about 1pm yesterday, and Sussex Police confirmed that they are still there
One witness said: ‘This escalated quickly. They weren’t there when I woke up this morning. There must have been 50 or 60 vans, it was ridiculous’
Hove Lawns is a protected stretch of land, meaning that any prolonged period of encampment for more than 12 hours is banned.
One witness said: ‘I saw them arriving at 1pm, there were loads of them. There were tents there before, but this escalated quickly.
‘They weren’t there when I woke up this morning. There must have been 50 or 60 vans, it was ridiculous.’
The traveller occupation of Hove Lawns came days after a homeless camp was reportedly erected on the same spot of grass.
Addressing the tents, a council spokesperson had said: ‘This is a complex legal matter and our teams are looking into this.’
Brighton and Hove Council did not immediately reply to MailOnline’s request for comment.
Close-up shots reveal rubbish and bikes strewn across the neatly-trimmed grass on which the vehicles were parked
A refuse bag, cups, cartons and other items of litter spoil the normally picturesque coastline which makes Hove such an attractive place to homeowners and tourists alike
Hove Lawns is a protected stretch of land, meaning that any prolonged period of encampment for more than 12 hours is banned, but this did not deter these travellers