Caravans set up in former Motorola car park
A GROUP of travellers set up camp yesterday on a derelict car park behind the former Mototora building at Ground-well.
Thirty-five caravans, trailers and horse boxes were on the site yesterday morning.
The land is through metal gates at the end of Latham Road, about 500 yards past the David Lloyds Sports Centre.
The private car park was used by Motorola employees but is now unused by Vygon, the medical device supplier which bought the iconic building and grounds in 2011.
Wiltshire Police and Swindon Council are aware of the encampment.
Coun Peter Heaton-Jones (Con, St Andrews), who visited the site after being alerted by the Adver, said he had referred the matter to Coun Vera Tomlinson (Con, St Andrews), who is the cabinet member for a stronger and safer borough.
Coun Heaton-Jones said: “It’s not near any residential area. It’s not even visible from any residential area.
“As I was driving along the A419 spur road, the bit you have to go down to get to the main A419 junction, I could see a couple of caravans from over the hedge, but that’s all.”
Coun Heaton-Jones said it was not clear how the caravans got on to the site.
But the gate was wide open and the chain and the combination lock showed no sign of having been broken or cut.
He said he had spoken to PCSOs near the site.
“They said they’re in charge,” he said.
“They said the police had been up to look at the site.
“They had recorded all the registration numbers of the caravans up there and they were going around talking to local businesses to make them aware the police were dealing with it.”
A Wiltshire Police spokesman said: “We got quite a few calls this morning just before 9.20am from various people including the landowner that a number of caravans had parked in a car park off Latham Road.
“We have gone out there this morning and we have spoken to the travellers that were on the site.
“They have told us that they intend to stay until next weekend.
“We went down there and we counted 35 vehicles including caravans, trailers and horse boxes.
“Wiltshire Police has received formal notification from the land owner asking for the travellers to be moved on.
“Officers are now working with all those involved to find a resolution.”