An injunction that will outlaw unauthorised traveller encampments setting up in Andover will help stop a "charade of chasing [travellers] around from site to site", the council leader says after announcing caravans have appeared in Picket Piece.

Two caravans have appeared on the play area in Picket Piece after an encampment nearby was removed this morning, according to Cllr Phil North, leader of Test Valley Borough Council.

Cllr North says that a clean up operation is underway after an unauthorised encampment in Picket Twenty was moved on this morning (Saturday).

However, he has added that two unauthorised caravans have appeared on the play area in Picket Piece.

"They may very well be the same ones," he says.

As previously reported, Test Valley Borough Council will be in court next week applying for an injunction that would make it illegal for travellers to stop in a large area.

A similar injunction is already in force in part of Basingstoke, and has resulted in savings of millions of pounds, according to the deputy leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Cllr Simon Bound.

"Our day in court next week really can't come soon enough," Cllr North said on Facebook this afternoon.

"Fingers crossed we get our injunction granted - which will help this charade of chasing them around from site to site."

Unauthorised encampments have been spotted in Andover several times over the last 12 months, with Cllr North admitting last year that the period of August to September seeing a particular increase.

A large group of around 30 vehicles arrived at Picket Twenty on August 5, 2019.

Another group then set up a camp at an used site in Anton Trading Estate on August 18, remaining in the area for 11 days.

Later that day a group appeared at Walworth Business Park,

The same group then moved on to Kiel Drive, in Saxon Fields, the following week. Over the course of September, camps were then spotted in Elbe Way, in Saxon Fields, as well as Augusta Park and Picket Twenty before returning to Saxon Fields.

Different areas of the country have different rules on unauthorised encampments.

For example, in Basingstoke and Deane the council was granted a temporary injunction in July last year which allows the authority to ban the setting up of unauthorised encampments in a large section of the borough.

However, in Test Valley there is no injunction in place and so the council has to rely on a more drawn-out process of asking the travellers to leave, serving an eviction notice and going to court - which can take a number of days.

Other authorities, such as Poole Borough Council, which is now part of the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council, has in the past provided skips and portable toilets to travellers, aimed at limiting clean-up work after travellers left.