A defiant community centre boss has said it’s back to business as usual following an invasion by travellers.

The group caused chaos at Hannakins Farm, Billericay, tearing up the children’s football pitch with their vehicles.

Mike Nye, a treasurer of the Hannakins Community Centre, said: “We are back to normal and business runs as usual.

“All the rubbish has been cleared up.

“But the grass hasn’t been attended to just yet because that’s subjected to weather conditions. You can’t force grass to grow quicker.”

An encampment first set-up in the car park of the community centre, in Linda Gardens, late last month. The group was served a notice to leave by council but then returned to Radford Crescent car park, also in Billericay, on February 6. They were then ordered to leave the next day.

Travellers left behind rubbish and deep track tyres on the farm site after they moved on, much to the distress of residents.

Basildon Council has taken swift action to clear up the rubbish. A council spokesman confirmed it was unable to repair the grass yet as it was forecasted to be rainy at the weekend. The council said they will re-seed the damaged part of the pitch this week because of the warmer weather conditions.

The club has now been thinking about how to up security.

Mr Nye added: ““It’ll be difficult to install CCTV equipment because the pitches that were damaged are 500 feet away from the building.

“We’ve been talking to Basildon Council and police about how to improve our security. Because it’s a public area, it is opened to everyone so we can’t put a padlock to our car park.

“The car park is open from 9am until 11pm. The first set of travellers came at 1pm and the next ones came in 3.30pm. Basildon Council dealt with our problem very promptly.”

Basildon Council has responded quickly against a series of traveller incursions across the borough recently. Last Friday, the council obtained a High Court injunction to move on two traveller encampments within 24 hours.

Two caravans were sighted by council officers in the Harvey Road car park on Thursday morning. They then moved on from the car park in the evening, and then briefly stopped at at the corner of Chester Hall Lane and Miles Gray Road before moving on again.

The council cannot confirm their current location.