Travellers return to £35m university campus opened by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry just months after they were kicked off

Travellers return to £35m university campus opened by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry just months after they were kicked off

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THE travellers who were kicked off the £35million university campus opened by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have returned.

Staff were forced to shut down a car park at the University of Chichester’s Bognor Regis technology campus in West Sussex after 10 caravans moved onto the site for the second time in six months.

A group of travellers have returned to the car park at the University of Chichester's new Tech Park which was opened by Meghan and Prince Harry
A group of travellers have returned to the car park at the University of Chichester’s new Tech Park which was opened by Meghan and Prince Harry
Solent News
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex opened the campus in October 2018
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex opened the campus in October 2018
PA:Press Association

A spokesman for the university today said it was working with police and the local council in an effort to have the group moved on.

Students who have been sent an email warning about the group today said thy feel “unsafe”.

The site is opposite a Butlin’s holiday park in the seaside town of Bognor Regis.

In April, locals saw the men, women and children pitch up at the site opposite Butlins in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, earlier this week.

Pictures taken at the time showed families playing outside their mobile homes – just months after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex opened the technology park in October 2018.

The university was forced to close the car park and was in contact with the police and council to “take the necessary legal action to move them on”.

Cops confirmed at the time 24 caravans and three motor homes had parked on the campus and the university had told the group they must leave by the next day.

Students and a spokesman for the university have expressed their concern as the car park has forced to close again.

‘IT CAN BE SCARY’

Louise Rawley, 19, is studying musical theatre at the University of Chichester and lives at Barbara Smith Halls which backs on to the car park.

She said: “Having them there, right next to halls, it makes you feel unsafe.

“They haven’t been aggressive or anything yet but we have to escort each other back to halls when we come back late at night.

“I’m not trying to be harsh, but at the end of the day we as students are paying tens of thousands of pounds to be here and they have just come on to the campus and are allowed to stay there for free.

“They don’t have a licence to be there and they shouldn’t really be allowed to stay.”

Student Naomi Taylor, 19, who lives in Bognor Regis, added: “If there’s people in on campus who aren’t students then it won’t be as safe as it should be.

“It can be a bit scary, especially if a lot of people are away from home for the first time.

“I came back with my friend Ella last night, who is a fresher and in her first week of university, and we got back about half one and because I was heading home, I was quite worried about her walking back across the campus by herself.

“After the travellers left last time, the police put two big vans up to stop them getting back in but I guess they are back already.”

We have temporarily closed the car park at our Tech Park on our Bognor Regis campus due to the presence of travellers.


The University of Chichester

A third year performing arts student, who didn’t want to be named, said: “It’s not fair for all of the students that have to commute in.

“Now those students have to find off-road parking – which isn’t easy round here – and then they end up being late for lectures.

“It’s really frustrating because we’re paying a lot of money to be here and then they make our lives harder.

“I hope they’re gone soon and don’t come back because they’re making us uncomfortable.”

John Kingdon, the university’s director of estate management, told staff and students in an email sent yesterday taht travellers had returned to the site.

He said: “Please be advised that a group of Travellers have moved onto the Tech Park car park. The car park is temporarily closed.

“Please use other University car parks or near-by public car parks. We will issue an update in due course.”

A spokesman for the university added: “We have temporarily closed the car park at our Tech Park on our Bognor Regis campus due to the presence of travellers.

“We are liaising with the Police and West Sussex County Council to take the necessary legal action to move them on.


“Our primary concern is for the welfare and safety of our students, staff, visitors, and close neighbours.”

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “Sussex Police were made aware on Wednesday evening of 10 caravans arriving at the Bognor Regis Campus of the University of Chichester.

“This is private land and is being dealt with by the land owners.”

Police confirmed they were aware of the presence of travellers in the car park
Police confirmed they were aware of the presence of travellers in the car park
Solent News
The university has been forced to close its car park
The university has been forced to close its car park
Solent News
Students were sent an email and warned about the travellers at the University of Chichester's Bognor Regis technology campus
Students were sent an email and warned about the travellers at the University of Chichester’s Bognor Regis technology campus
Solent News


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