A GROUP of travellers have set up home at the Billybanks estate – prompting fears of increased anti social behaviour at the derelict site.

Residents living in nearby Plassey Square are concerned that the travellers’ arrival at High View Road late on Friday night (August 28) will signal more problems at the estate, which has repeatedly been targeted by vandals and thieves.

Numerous fires have been started around the site over recent years, and the empty flats have often been raided and stripped of lead pipework.

The travellers have parked four white camper vans on a no-through road that has a bollard missing at its entrance.

Alan Guppy, of Plassey Square, said: “All the time the estate is in its current state, there are going to be problems.

“The travellers haven’t caused any trouble as yet, but I do worry that they will increase in numbers and then you just don’t know what will happen.

“The Vale of Glamorgan Council needs to get them out now.”

Patricia Wilson, also of Plassey Square, said: "I object to people who think they can do whatever they like without consequence.

"They are breaking the law by parking on High View Road and should go."

Another local resident, who did not wished to be named, said: “I thought they would have moved on by now.

“We’ve had problems like this in the past and it has cost a fortune to clear up the mess they left.

“There could be a lot of trouble if they stay here.”

But Vale Council chiefs and South Wales Police have moved quickly to ease local residents' fears about the travellers.

Tony Jaques, head of public housing services, said: "The Vale of Glamorgan Council has instigated legal action against the unauthorised occupants and aims to remove them from the site as soon as the law allows."

A spokesman for South Wales Police added: “We are aware of the situation and are working with our partner agencies in Safer Vale to resolve the problem."

Talks are continuing between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and developer Crest Nicholson to find a way forward for the estate.

Vale Council chiefs held confidential meetings last month to discuss the Penarth Heights project to build 377 new homes on the site.

Demolition of the estate was due to begin in 2007, but the collapse of the housing market means work has yet to start.