Travellers pitch up at disused car yard

The former Evans Halshaw garage on Nottingham Road has been converted into a temporary Travellers' camp
The former Evans Halshaw garage on Nottingham Road has been converted into a temporary Travellers' camp

A group of travellers pitched camp on a disused car yard in Mansfield where the remains of a man’s body were discovered earlier this year.

The Travellers gained access to the derelict Evans Halshaw Nissan garage site on Nottingham Road, last Thursday night.

Police say they are still working to identify the body, which was discovered on Friday, 31st January.

Owners Pendragon Plc, who operate car dealerships throughout the UK, said they were aware of the situation but did not want to comment.

The Chad understands that bailiffs visited the site on Monday afternoon.

By midday on Tuesday, the Travellers had vacated the site.

Two steel bollards at the entrance to the site were removed so vehicles can enter.

There were around 12 vehicles parked in the yard behind the showroom, and the same number of caravans.

When the Chad approached a man on the site for an interview, he declined and said: “No thanks. We don’t talk to the press.”

Maurice Hawkins, of nearby AIPS Ltd, said: “Last February a group turned up. An eviction notice was served and they left without incident.

“It took about a week.”

Lisa Moody, of Robin Down Lane, said: “We have had no problems with them.

“They’re not here with their usual trucks - it’s just cars and caravans.

“They come more or less every year since that yard has been derelict.

“They stop here for a few days and then just go.”

Her husband John said: “It’s about time they knocked that site down and built some houses there.

“But nobody wants to build on brownfield sites.

“It will cost a fortune to clear that site before they can build there.”

Councillor Mick Barton, Mansfield District Council (MDC) portfolio holder for public protection, said: “From a council point of view we have a duty of care.

“Our community safety team will check their welfare and medical needs. We have to do that by law and we will be asking why they are on the site.”

A spokeswoman for Nottinghamshire Police said: “We made the council aware because trespass is a civil matter.

“We are just monitoring the situation at the moment.”

One Nottingham Road resident, who did not want to be named, said: “I have seen one or two dogs and one or two young children at the garage. They seem to have left a fair bit of rubbish as well.”