A GROUP of travellers have parked up on land opposite a retail park in Newport.

A resident who asked not be named said he had seen six caravans move into Seven Stiles Avenue, adjacent to the Matalan store in Spytty Retail Park.

The resident added: "I could not believe what I was seeing.

"The council only recently managed to get travellers out of two parks elsewhere in the city."

A spokeswoman from Newport City Council has said the authority is aware of the group's presence.

The council spokeswoman said: "The council recognises the public’s frustration when incidents like this happen and the expectation that travellers should be removed within hours of setting up an illegal encampment.

"However the council has to follow the rules, assess the situation and involve other partners so assessments can be carried out before action is decided on. Gypsy and Travellers are a recognised ethnic group, which means that the council has a number of legal duties towards them under the Equalities Act, the Housing Act and the Children Act.

"That said, it is also not acceptable for private or publicly owned land to be illegally occupied.

"The council will continue to work with land owners and Gwent Police whenever land is illegally occupied by travellers, and it would appeal to the travelling community to treat land in Newport with respect."

Travellers also set up encampments in Black Ash Park and Coronation Park in recent months.