Unauthorised encampments

All evictions must comply with the law. Typically, this results in the process as follows:

  • the landowner informs the campers that they must move and of his/her intention to seek a court order if they refuse
  • the landowner applies for a court hearing date
  • campers are given a minimum 2 days' notice of the hearing date
  • the landowner obtains an eviction order from the court - these orders are usually served on the campers on the same day and eviction normally takes place within a few days

The council recognises the rights of travellers under the Human Rights Act and the Race Relations legislation. Council officers will seek to ensure that their actions are proportionate and balance the needs of travellers with the needs of the settled community.

Will campers always be automatically evicted from unauthorised sites?

Government guidance on unauthorised encampments states that if the encampment is causing 'little or no nuisance' a policy of toleration should be considered together with a negotiated leaving date.

The council also has a duty to establish if travellers on its land have special medical needs and to offer school places to children.

In dealing with unauthorised encampments, we recognise the rights of travellers, for example under the Human Rights Act and the Race Relations legislation. Council officers will seek to ensure that their actions are proportionate and balance the needs of travellers with the needs of the settled community.

Who pays to clear up after the illegal encampment has left?

If fly tipping and fouling of the land has occurred and remains after the site has been vacated it is the landowner's responsibility to arrange and pay for the clean up. We urge local landowners to take steps to protect their land from unlawful trespass and thereby avoid large clear-up costs

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