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Unauthorised encampments

12 April 2018

Current live encampments reported to ECTU

Below are encampments that have been reported to and are currently managed by the ECTU on behalf of partners, along with their current status.  Please do not call to report these encampments unless you have additional information:

Stortford Road, Great Dunmow, Uttlesford (ECC) Date
Reported 06/04/2018
1st visit 06/04/2018
Direction to leave served 09/04/2018
Court application submitted
Court summons services
Court date
Court Order served
Site clear
Comments: ECTU have visited and have started legal proceedings and we seek a quick resolution.
 
Braintree rugby club car park, Braintree (partner land) Date
Reported 01/04/2018
1st visit 01/04/2018
Direction to leave served 04/04/2018
Court application submitted 04/04/2018
Court summons services 06/04/2018
Court date 10/04/2018
Court Order served
Site clear
Comments: ECTU and police are aware and are managing the encampment. Summons served 06/04/2018

Seaview Road, St Osyth, Tendring (private) Date
Reported 03/04/2018
Site clear - if known
Comments: police and land owner are aware of this encampment, therefore, please contact the police on 101 or Tendring District Council for further information.
 
To report a new unauthorised encampment, or if you're a landowner considering taking action and need advice, please select the appropriate authority area.

Wyncolls Road, Colchester (private) Date
Reported 16/03/2018
Site clear - if known
Comments: please contact the police on 101 for further information.
 
Barnston, Parsonage Lane, Uttlesford (private) Date
Reported 08/04/2018
Site clear - if known
Comments: case referred to Essex Legal via Essex Highways mid May 2015 to investigate area of potential highway. Essex Highways have confirmed (end of August) that the area in dispute is now considered not to be a maintainable highway. Therefore, this will revert back to the private land owner to action.
 
Allectus Way, Witham (not an encampment Date
Reported 02/03/2018
Site clear - if known
Comments: to be referred to Braintree Council as ECTU assessment outcomes have demmed not an unauthorised encampment and is an 'off road' vehicle.
 
Runwell Road, Wickford (not an encampment) Date
Reported 08/02/2018
Site clear - if known
Comments: referred to Chelmsford City Council planning department - please contact them for more detail.
 

To report a new unauthorised encampment, or if you're a landowner considering taking action and need advice, please select the appropriate authority area.


ECTU partner authorities - encampment managed by ECTU
* e-form sent to the Essex Countrywide Traveller Unit.

Non partner authorities - encampment managed by the local authority

Injunction

For details of current injunctions in place, please click the links below:

For more help, please email the Essex Countrywide Traveller Unit at ECTU@essex.gov.uk

The police will visit the unauthorised encampment and in certain circumstances may choose to use their emergency powers under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to move the encampment.  It is the decision of the senior officer who visits the encampment as to whether they apply their powers.  Please contact Essex Police on 101 for further information.

Why don't the police just arrest those making up the encampments?

Trespass on land by itself is not a criminal offence.  It is the responsibility of the landowner to take the necessary action to repossess their land, and not the police.

Can Essex County Council move unauthorised encampments on immediately?

No. Essex County Council must seek a formal possession order through the Magistrates Court under Section 77/78 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, or the County Court under Part 55 of the Civil Procedures Rules. These include the requirement to:

  • prove ownership of the land
  • complete assessments for health, welfare and education needs of the encampment occupants
  • assess the impact of the encampment on its location as per the Code for Unauthorised Encampments in Essex.

How long will it take to move on an unauthorised encampment?

Some encampments only wish to stay for a few days and leave before the above procedure is completed. In certain circumstances we may tolerate an encampment for longer if they comply with the Code for Unauthorised Encampments.

The length of stay depends on the circumstances of each individual case. If a court order is necessary, the legal process takes 7 - 10 working days which is dictated by legal requirements and can't be shortened.


What happens if the unauthorised encampments damage property/local environment?

Breaking in and damaging property are criminal offences and therefore need to be reported directly to the police, who will deal with any crime where they can attribute the damage to specific individuals.  Knowledge of any previous adverse activity will contribute to the police/ECTU decision as to how quickly we proceed with any repossession process.


How is rubbish left by unauthorised encampment dealt with?

Unauthorised encampments on local authority land are regularly visited and every effort is made to try to keep the site tidy.  Where rubbish starts to build up, this should be reported to the local authority as fly tipping.  Following the departure of an unauthorised encampment, the local authority will ensure any waste is removed.

Private landowners are responsible for the removal of waste from their land.


Private land

An unauthorised encampment on private land is subject to the laws of trespass, which is a civil matter. It is the responsibility of the landowner to take the appropriate action. For more information, contact your local authority.