Around 100 travellers have moved in next to Edgbaston Cricket Ground – just 48 hours before England’s World Cup semi-final match against Australia.
More than 30 caravans towed by a fleet of luxury cars and 4x4s descended on Calthorpe Park, in Birmingham, last week with more arriving on Monday.
Aerial pictures show the illegal camp is just 200 yards from the stadium where 25,000 cricket fans will watch England’s semi-final match on Thursday.
More than 30 caravans have been towed onto an area of land just 300 yards from Edgbaston Cricket Ground ahead of this week’s World Cup semi-final match between England and Australia
Edgbaston, left, uses the field, right, for parking when there are big events at the ground
The caravans have been placed around much of the perimeter of the field, pictured
A group of travellers have moved into a park near Edgbaston Cricket ground in Birmingham
Children’s toys, plastic garden furniture and disposable barbecues litter the park which is a popular spot for families to enjoy picnics.
Staff at the cricket stadium use the site as a car park on match days, creating a headache for officials ahead of the game.
Birmingham City Council officials say they are aware of the traveller site and are working to get them moved.
A spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of them and looking into the matter.
‘The council always try to reclaim and protect our land whenever travellers arrive on public land and will take steps to recover this land where illegal encampments encroach upon it.’
One resident said: ‘They are totally brazen. They just rock up and drive straight over the kerb and the grass.
‘It wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t put rubbish and mess everywhere. The council do nothing and the travellers know this so they just stay put.’
Children can be seen running around having boxing matches with each other, whilst their parents are barbecuing.
Resident are ‘fed up’ with Birmingham City Council after saying they’ve put up with the travellers for the past year.
A resident who wanted to remain anonymous said: ‘Its not nice having these people live and park their cars on the field. ‘It’s opposite my house and I can see the rubbish they leave on the floor.
‘They make a lot of noise which is bad for the elderly residents in the area.
‘This isn’t the first time they’ve come, we have had this problem or over a year now.
‘We have been asking the council to move them for a while now but nothing gets done.
‘We are getting tired, fed up and furious.’
Locals complained that the first of the travellers moved onto the site over the weekend
One resident said: ‘They are totally brazen. They just rock up and drive straight over the kerb and the grass. It wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t put rubbish and mess everywhere’
Locals complain the council could be more proactive in moving on the travellers
A local shopkeeper, who wished to remain anonymous said: ‘It can be quite tense when they are around.
‘Just now I had a woman in my shop with six children and I was serving her but one of the girls kept picking up sweets.
‘I asked her not to pick them unless they were going to buy it but the mother started shouting and told me to leave her alone.
‘This is what we have to deal with, it effects my business.
‘My problem with them is they just don’t listen and whenever you try to ask them something they push their chest out like they want to fight.’
Another neighbour said: ‘They are giving the neighbourhood a headache.
‘The kids run around and cause trouble, they leave rubbish everywhere.
‘We feel like there is an inequality, we have asked them to put up little railings to stop them driving onto the park but we were told by the council no.
‘I don’t get it, if parked on that grass I would get a fine but if they do it, it’s absolutely fine.
‘I don’t get why the council doesn’t move them to a secure place or a field they can live off.’
Balsall Heath West, Councillor Zhor Malik (Lab) has said travellers have been using Calthrope park for over a year. He said his constituents have become restless and want action – which he has raised with Birmingham City Council to no avail. He said: ‘PSPO is an injunction and the council achieved some injunctions last year.
‘My residents came up to me last year and said why is that every two weeks or so we have travellers yet there are three or four parks that have injunctions.
‘They asked me why they couldn’t have one, so I raised the question.
‘I told the council my residents are not happy, we came up the suggestion of a trip rail put up around the park.
‘There answer was it was cost too much.’
A spokesperson for the cricket ground said they would be ‘having conversations’ with the council about the encampment.
Last month a group of travellers set up camp at the home of Premiership rugby team Exeter Chiefs. The group were finally forced to leave after the club refused to pay a £1,500 ransom and obtained a court order forcing them to move on.
The park is only a short distance from the cricket ground which will be packed with fans on Thursday as England face Australia
The area is used by the nearby cricket ground as an over spill car park on big days
Birmingham City Council said they were aware of the situation and were preparing a response