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High Court protects Ealing space from illegal encampments

Words: Laura Edgar
Illegal waste dumping / iStock-1131877745

Ealing Council has been granted an injunction by the High Court that prohibits illegal encampments in the borough.

More than 300 sites are covered by the injunction, which also outlaws the depositing of waste on these sites.

Backed by the police, Ealing Council sought the injunction after a recent surge in encampment numbers – 40 arrived in November 2018. The council said this is a significant increase for what is usually a quiet time of the year for such encampments.

The injunction forbids caravans, mobile homes, vans and lorries coming onto public land and setting up camps and dumping waste on it. Neither the council nor the police will have to rely on their respective powers under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to address the incursions and remove the encampments.

In April, the High Court granted the London Borough of Hillingdon an injunction to protect 350 sites from illegal encampments. The order remains in place until 18 June, when the council will seek to extend it. Also in April, the High Court granted a three-year injunction order to Kingston Council so that it could prevent unlawful occupation, encampments and fly-tipping on public land.

Ealing's injunction will remain in force until a full hearing on 19 July 2019. If it works effectively, the council is likely to ask the court to extend it for a three-year period.

Mark Wiltshire, the council’s director of safer communities and housing, said: “Over the past three years we have worked hard to manage encampments in partnership with local police, using the most appropriate powers available promptly. However, more recently, the increase in numbers over the winter, which may be as a result of other boroughs across the capital obtaining similar injunctions, has meant that we now must consider this option to protect our parks and open spaces.”

Read more:

Court grants London council an injunction against illegal encampments

Hillingdon cracks down on illegal encampments

Image credit | iStock