Home > Latest News > Environmental Health > Housing >
Dealing With Illegal And Unauthorised Encampments
p>The Department for Communities and Local Government has issued new guidance with regard to tackling illegal encampments. The guidance includes a ‘Summary of Available Powers’ and the wording appears to encourage the full use of these powers. ?The introduction states:
‘This guide sets out the robust powers councils and landowners now have to clamp down quickly on illegal and unauthorised encampments. As part of the Government?s commitment to protecting the nation?s green spaces, these powers will help protect Green Belt land and the countryside from illegal encampments. In addition to the powers which are available to councils to remove unauthorised traveller sites, protest camps and squatters from both public and private land, new Temporary Stop Notices now give councils powers to tackle unauthorised caravans, backed up with potentially unlimited fines. With the powers set out in this guide available to them, councils should be ready to take swift enforcement action to tackle rogue encampments and sites. Recent experience has shown us the problems that can be caused for communities by the illegal occupation of land. It is often thought that local authorities and other enforcement bodies have limited powers available to tackle illegal and unauthorised encampments and the nuisance that they can cause. In fact there are extensive powers which are summarised below.?
Whilst there is a clear leadership role for local authorities in tackling illegal and unauthorised encampments, they will some times need to work collaboratively with others, such as the police or the Highways Agency, depending on where the most appropriate powers sit.?
This summary of powers is primarily aimed at local authorities but also intended to be helpful to land owners and others involved with illegal and unauthorised encampments.’
The guidance encourages local authorities to be prepared and act swiftly.
RIAMS members can click here to view the guidance.