TRAVELLERS have set up an unauthorised encampment at a new housing estate off the A31.

The group arrived at land off Mulberry Crescent, in Victory Oak Estate near St Leonards, yesterday afternoon, February 5.

Police have been made aware of the situation after they were called at 4.53pm about it.

Officers have warned they will take appropriate action if needed, and are working with the landowner and Dorset Council.

A spokeswoman for the force said: "Dorset Police received a report at 4.53pm on Monday 5 February 2024 of an unauthorised encampment in the area of Mulberry Crescent in St Leonards.

"Officers have attended the site and are liaising with those present as well as the landowners.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and will work with our local partners and the site owners to take appropriate further action if required."

A spokeswoman for Dorset Council said: "We are aware of this encampment and understand the police are contacting the land owners to discuss. Dorset Council is not the landowner."

The housing development opened in 2017 and was named after the famous Victory Oak tree, understood to have been planted by Dwight Eisenhower to celebrate the end of the Second World War.

The scheme, on the site of a derelict former Second World War military hospital, includes 210 new homes and a wildlife habitat to protect threatened species that were once common on this now neglected land.