A LARGE group of travellers have set up camp in the car park of the casino at Southend’s Kursaal.

Concerned residents reported seeing about seven caravans park up on land owned by the Rendezvous Casino, near Southend seafront.

Casino bosses declined the chance to comment.

But Martin Terry, Independent for community safety and customer contact, said: “Unauthorised encampments are extremely irritating for businesses, like this.

“Southend Council will liaise with the casino to get it sorted.

“It is for the business to seek an injunction to remove the travellers from the land.”

Mr Terry stressed because it was on private land, it would not be affected by the blanket ban on travellers pitching up in Southend which has been debated by councillors.

He added: “It is up the casino bosses to go to the courts to get these people moved on.

“I am in no doubt the police and council will be assisting the casino with this.

“I hope these people will behave themselves and not cause any issues, but it does need to be sorted as soon as possible.

“It is extremely disappointing and is unacceptable that people think they can just go about and plonk themselves where they like.”

Mr Terry said the council is working to create a database of information to find out how many illegal camps have been set up in the borough – and how best to do deal with the issue.

Residents living nearby have raised concerns too.

It comes as Southend Council is seeking a court order to remove travellers who have been camped on a sports field for more than a week.

Ten caravans were seen on the field of Westcliff Rugby Club, which is based on Aviation Way, Southend, where they settled last Monday.

It’s believed to be the same group which was moved on from Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park, Rochford, on August 11.

Debate continues to rage over whether a complete ban on illegal encampments across the borough should be imposed.