CONCERNS over anti-social behaviour have been raised as more travellers arrived on Marina Park in Great Sankey.

A section 77 notice giving the group on the Marina Avenue site 24 hours to leave was served on Monday.

But yesterday, Wednesday, the seven caravans and associated vehicles were joined by another group, with residents reporting that there are now around 15 caravans on the land.

It sparked a visit from Cheshire's police and crime commissioner David Keane.

The council is due in court on Friday to obtain an order to move the first group from the land after the section 77 notice was ignored.

Once the order is obtained, the travellers will be moved on 'as soon as possible'.

However, the authority will have to carry out a visit to the new group today.

It will be serving a section 77 notice giving the travellers until noon tomorrow to vacate the land.

Cllr Hitesh Patel (LAB – Great Sankey South) hailed the 'united' approach to the situation – and also highlighted the need for a transit site in the borough.

He said: "I have a young kid, who uses that park, and I grew up in the area.

"I share residents' concerns about this.

"Residents have contacted me not just about them being there but also about anti-social behaviour – that is a real worry.

"But what I am pleased about is the way local councillors have united with the local MP and police and crime commissioner.

"We are all working to a common goal to get that park returned to community use.

"There are concerns about the time it is taking – some travellers clearly abide by notices served but it is unfortunate that this group have chosen to ignore the notice.

"We are in the hands of the court.

"If residents feel fearful, or see anything suspicious, they should ring the police straight away.

"The council is looking to improve security on the site and put in measures to ensure the site is used for its intended purpose, which is a park for children to play in and families to enjoy."

A future transit camp would allow the authority to direct groups to the land, with senior Town Hall figures confident that it would dramatically reduce the number of unlawful encampments across the borough.

The authority has almost £2 million set aside to fund it.

Cllr Patel is calling on the council to 'step up its efforts' to identify a location for the future transit site.

He added: "It has put into focus, for me, why the town needs to find a solution to what seems to be regular occurrences of illegal encampments.

"We have the money in the budget.

"We do need to find somewhere for travellers to legitimately stay."