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ELMBRIDGE BOROUGH COUNCIL ANNOUNCE A 3-YEAR HIGH COURT INJUNCTION HAS BEEN GRANTED AGAINST THE SETTING UP OF UNAUTHORISED ENCAMPMENTS ON ALL OF ELMBRIDGE'S PUBLIC LAND. 

Travellers off Longmead Road 21Jun17 LR

 This follows on from the 3-month injunction that the council was awarded back in August.  The awarding of both these injunctions was not a foregone conclusion.  The High Court required a lot of documentary evidence of the negative impact to the community and the excessive cost to the council for removal, clearing up and repairing of damage after each encampment, the number of which increased hugely this year.

So our congratulations and thanks go to the Council's Officers for all the hard work they've put into achieving this, and also to our Councillors who, along with the Officers, have worked so diligently, within the existing legislation, in dealing with the many traveller incursions we've experienced in recent years.

With the injunction now in force, any future encampments can be dealt with much more quickly, usually same day, as the council will not be required to obtain a court order first before removal.

Local residents, particularly those who have experienced the problems caused by these encampments at first hand, will be very relieved to see that the legal process has finally come to the aid of the Council.  It is unfortunate that residents had to suffer such a huge increase in unauthorised encampments this summer, before the council had sufficient evidence to apply for the injunction.

Below is a copy of the announcement from Elmbridge Borough Council's Ian Burrows, Head of Leisure and Cultural Services.  Ian came to the RA's September Open Meeting to update residents on the approach the council has been taking to deal with unauthorised traveller encampments.

 

8 November 2018 12:49
Subject: Unauthorised encampment: 3 year protective injunction


Elmbridge Borough Council has been granted a three year protective injunction banning the setting up of unauthorised encampments and fly-tipping on all identified public land.


Following on from the recent three-month injunction granted in August 2018, the High Court today (Thursday 8 November) has extended that injunction for a further three years. The injunction covers all of the Borough’s parks, open spaces and car parks.


The injunction prevents any individual from occupying land or depositing waste as well as stopping anyone from entering, or occupying any part of the land for residential purposes, including caravans, mobile homes and vehicles. This has proved a very effective deterrent during the temporary injunction. It will also prevent the Council from having to obtain court orders for the removal of these encampments, which can take several days to obtain, and will authorise High Court enforcement officers to move people on if they take no notice of the injunction order. Failure to do so can result in imprisonment, fines or seizure of assets.

 

The Council evidenced large-scale fly-tipping and the cost of clearing it, damage to gates and barriers, lost parking income and the large increase in the number and size of recent encampments as well as the significant impact on communities living adjacent to each encampment and the loss of community facilities during the summer.


2018 has seen an unprecedented increase in levels of unauthorised encampments in Elmbridge, totalling 27 on public parks and open spaces as well as other recent encampments on private owned land such as Painshill Park. The size of these encampments has also risen dramatically with some encampments being over 60 vehicles in size.


Further information about this Order and the documents before the court can be viewed on the unauthorised encampment injunction web page:  https://www.elmbridge.gov.uk/news/high-court-injunction/

 

Ian Burrows