A NUMBER of caravans have been parked up in Sainsbury's car park in Stanway. 

The caravans and mobile homes were seen in the car park at 6.45am today.

It is understood a number of parking spaces are out of action as a result. 

The Gazette has contacted Sainsbury's for comment. 

On how the situation will be resolved, Conservative councillor, Jeremy Hagon, of the Stanway ward said: “I think at the particular stage the situation is to be resolved of the private land owners of the supermarket.”

A spokesperson for Essex Police said: "Unauthorised traveller encampments are a civil matter of trespass and the landowner, private or council, in the first instance, have powers to direct an encampment to move."

An amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill was passed on Tuesday, June 28 to deal with encampments. 

The bill has given police greater powers to tackle encampments.

The PCSC Act has created a new offence for England and Wales, and given greater power for police to seize property, including vehicles, where individuals reside on land with a vehicle.

The offence will be committed if a person who resides or intends to reside in a vehicle fails to leave the land or remove their property without reasonable excuse when asked to do so.

The maximum penalty will be three months imprisonment or a fine of up to £2,500, or both.