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Unauthorised encampments

We ensure that if unauthorised encampments are set up, they are managed quickly and efficiently to meet the needs of

  • those in the encampment
  • the local community

In such cases, we make an assessment of the needs of those in the encampment and agree with them a reasonable time when they will move on. In all cases the site is visited and every effort made to make sure that the site is being kept tidy and there are no public health problems. This sometimes means that refuse collection facilities may be provided for this purpose.

If during the course of their stay, they cause a nuisance or damage the environment, we would take formal action to remove the encampment. 

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Reporting an unauthorised encampment

We work very closely with the Police to manage unauthorised encampments.

If you need to report an unauthorised encampment, please check the list of unauthorised encampments first. If the encampment has not been identified please use our report it service.

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Removing an encampment

If there is an encampment on our land we can take action. If it is on private land the landowner has the responsibility to take action. The Government has advised that when unauthorised encampments are not causing a problem, the site may be tolerated.

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Council Land

Before we can remove them we must:

  • show that the unauthorised encampment is on the land without consent;
  • make enquiries regarding the general health, welfare and children's education;
  • ensure that the Human Rights Acts 1998 has been fully complied with;
  • follow a set procedure in terms of proving ownership of land and details of the illegal encampment that will enable us to
  • successfully obtain the necessary authority from the Courts to order the those in the encampment to leave the site.

This process may take a while and we have to obtain a Court hearing date. The Court can refuse to grant us an order to move the unauthorised encampment on if there is an unavoidable reason to allow them to stay, or if the Court believes that we have failed to make adequate enquiries regarding the general health and welfare of those of those in the encampment. 

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Private Land

The landowner can

  • talk to them to see if a leaving date can be agreed.
  • take proceedings in the County Court under the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 to obtain a Court Order for their eviction. There must be a minimum of two clear days between service of documents and the Court hearing.

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