A GROUP of Travellers has taken up residence in the main car park of Odsal Stadium.

The group of up to 20 vehicles, which is believed to consist of Irish Travellers, has been on the site for a number of weeks.

The former home of the Bradford Bulls is leased by the Rugby Football League but the the car park and the land the stadium sits on belong to Bradford Council.

One member of the public who got in touch with the T&A said: “They arrived about four weeks ago, then another group arrived two weeks ago.

“The Council and RFL are aware. The car registrations are Irish.

“They have kept the site pretty tidy and Bulls office staff have had no issues.”

There have been a number of break-ins at the site reported on social media while its future is still to be decided.

The ground was mothballed last year when the Bulls decided to move to Dewsbury for two seasons.

One of the break-ins was reportedly into the shower rooms which were then thoroughly cleaned by the intruders.

An RFL spokesperson said: "The land they are on is Council-owned and we understand they have been spoken to by the Council and Police so action would be taken by them not us.

"We have a security presence on site and have undertaken preventative action in recent days."

He said there had been no change it its mothballed status and the RFL were continuing to look at options for the stadium which, as previously reported, include speedway. He said a meeting of the RFL next week would be told of any updates.

A spokesman for Bradford Council did not confirm whether the Travellers had been issued with a notice to move on replied about whether the Council owned the land the Travellers are on.

They said: “A number of travellers have moved onto land at Odsal Stadium.

“Council officers have visited the site and we are now working to manage the situation.”

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said there had not been any recent reports of break-ins at the stadium.

Wyke councillor Sarah Ferriby said she was aware of travellers at Odsal but had not got any information as a colleague had been looking at it.

Cllr Rosie Watson did not respond to a request for a comment.

The RFL is maintaining the empty stadium to ensure the Bulls would be able to return to play there in 2021, its chairman Simon Johnson said last October. The governing body paid around £1.2million to the Bulls for the lease of the famous old ground in 2012 at the height of the club’s financial woes in order to secure its future as a rugby league venue.

The ground, which once hosted a world record crowd of 102,569 for a Challenge Cup final replay in 1954 and was once billed as having the potential to be the “Wembley of the North”, was left unused following a decision by the Bulls' former chairman Andrew Chalmers to switch the club’s home games to Dewsbury.

Odsal has depreciated significantly in value over the last seven years and at the time Mr Johnson said the board was exploring the possibility of selling its asset while keeping open the option for the team’s return.

“Odsal is currently mothballed, following the decision by Bradford Bulls to leave,” Mr Johnson said.

“The board is working with the club to ensure that a return to the stadium in 2021 remains an option, whilst continuing positive discussions with Bradford City Council on a development plan for the site.”

In January it was announced that the Bulls' absence from Odsal had opened a window for the possible return of speedway and stock cars.

If the encampment is on council land, a welfare visit will be undertaken to make an assessment of the situation and a leaving date agreed with those camped on the site. Trespass is a civil offence and not a criminal offence so prevention of trespass and the removal of trespassers are the responsibilities of the landowner and not the police.

Possession of the land can be sought in the courts through an Eviction Order or a Possession Order.