Barriers have been put up around a Shirley church car park after dozens of vehicles moved in.

Nearly 20 cars and vans had been left in the car park of the vacant Freemantle United Reformed Church in Shirley Road - prompting the landowner to issue parking notices last Monday.

The warnings said: “Abandoned untaxed vehicle seven-day notice before removal."

Yesterday morning, one week on, all the vehicles bar four had gone: three vans and a blue Mini Cooper.

Daily Echo: Nearly 20 vehicles hit with 'abandoned' notices warning they will be towed awayNearly 20 vehicles hit with 'abandoned' notices warning they will be towed away (Image: Matt Davey)Daily Echo: The church car park on Monday, a week after the notices were issuedThe church car park on Monday, a week after the notices were issued (Image: Newsquest, Jose Ramos)

One of the vehicles that remained - a remodelled prisoner transport van - was previously occupied by chef Robert Green, who turned it into a Caribbean food truck.

The dad-of-11, then 63, told the Echo in October last year: “I want people to know this is the best place for people to eat Caribbean food.

"It is prepared freshly with passion and tastes amazing."

But now it appears the business has closed.

Daily Echo: Robert Green, known as ‘Mike’ and his food truckTwo men were living in their car in the car park before the notices were handed out.

One of them previously told the Echo: “We’ve been here a couple of months, the church was all boarded up last week and we have a van directly behind us which means we’re boxed in and can’t move until it leaves.

He added: “I don’t know where all the cars have come from – they’ve just built up – some have grass growing underneath they’ve been here that long, but I guess whoever owns the building has had enough.”

Daily Echo: Cars left at Freemantle Reformed Church, ShirleyCars left at Freemantle Reformed Church, Shirley (Image: NQ, Jose Ramos)

Tony Weafer, a member of the Shirley and Freemantle Community Watch group, told the Echo he noticed the car park becoming more congested in recent weeks.

He said: “I thought the car park has been getting busier which is odd because the church itself has been closed for a long time now.

“It looks like people have abandoned the vehicles or thought it would be fine as a parking spot and now they’ve been told they can’t do that anymore."