A court hearing to remove a traveller encampment at Rabsons Rec will take place more than nine weeks after they arrived.

Travellers set up at John Rabson Recreation Ground on June 10 and have now been at the Whitley park for six weeks.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) said a court date has been set for August 16 to reclaim possession of the land.

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If the encampment stays put until then, it would have been there for nine weeks and five days on the day of the court hearing.

Several residents have raised concerns to the council.

David Soper tweeted: “Travellers have now been occupying Rabsons Rec since June 10. Flytipping and human excrement in Cowsey.

“Grass almost too long to walk through. No sign of them being moved on. Local people fed up.”

David Wiggin added: “Six weeks the travellers have been in the park next to me. Is something actually being done about Rabsons Rec?”

Responding, the council said the site is being regularly assessed by its Anti-social behaviour team and a court date has been set for August 16.

It has asked people to report and criminal or anti-social behaviour to the police on 101 and to email gypsyandtravellerteam@reading.gov.uk for more information.

Criticising the response, Mr Soper said: “That’s NINE weeks after the original occupation. Furthermore, on previous occasions the magistrate hasn’t ordered immediate eviction.

“Now that school summer holidays are starting there has to be something better. Health and Safety legislation?”

And Mr Wiggins said: “August 16?! That would make it 10 weeks!

“They have been moved on twice from Cintra Park in the six they have been here.” READ MORE: ‘Bad value’ – New operator hikes leisure centre membership fees locally

Similar issues happened in previous years at Rabsons Rec, with travellers forced out of the park by police in the past two summers.

Police have discretionary section 61 powers to remove unauthorised encampments, which they decide based on guidance such as whether there is a danger to life or disruption to the local economy.

Otherwise, the council must go to court to get permission to  use section 78 powers to evict an encampment, which can be a lengthy process.