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18/04/2019

Court grants London council an injunction against illegal encampments

Words: Laura Edgar
Illegal encampments / Shutterstock_176867141

The High Court has granted Kingston Council a full three-year injunction order that will allow it to prevent unlawful occupation, encampments and fly-tipping on public land.

The borough had initially been granted a three-month injunction order in January.

The order, which covers 153 sites across the borough, means that anyone found guilty of breaching it may be held in court and could be imprisoned, fined or have their assets seized. The council will be able to take action against encampments or other breaches, while a notice detailing the order will be posted at the entrances to all of the sites, which include vulnerable car parks and leisure centres.

Earlier this month, the High Court granted the London Borough of Hillingdon an injunction as it looks to protect 350 sites from illegal encampments. This comes after there were 41 incursions in the borough since January 2018, costing the council about £200,000 in clean-up costs. The order will remain in place until 18 June, when the council will seek to extend it.

Stephen Evans, director, communities, at Kingston Council, said: “We have acted in the interests of residents, who have repeatedly raised concerns about noise, nuisance and intimidating behaviour.

“The number of illegal encampments last year cost the council tens of thousands in repair costs.

“We have implemented a programme to enhance the security arrangements around our parks and open spaces to further reduce the number of unauthorised encampments. We also want to protect the borough’s open spaces and we hope that the three-year injunction order can help towards that.”

The order will remain in place until 14 April 2022.

Image credit | Shutterstock

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