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08/04/2019

Hillingdon cracks down on illegal encampments

Words: Huw Morris
Hillingdon Council

The London Borough of Hillingdon has successfully applied for a High Court injunction prohibiting illegal encampments on more than 350 sites.

The injunction, which refers to “persons unknown”, forbids caravans, mobile homes, vans and lorries from coming on to 358 specific sites for the purpose of occupying it or depositing waste.

It also prohibits any person, whether travelling on to the land in a vehicle or not – from fly-tipping there.

The list of restricted sites includes 290 parks and green spaces, along with leisure facilities, public car parks and car parks attached to public buildings such as libraries and theatres.

There have been 41 land incursions in the borough since January 2018, leading to clean-up costs of about £200,000.

The council anticipates that the injunction will act as a significant deterrent, while ensuring the quick removal of those who ignore it.

The injunction means that neither the council nor the police will have to rely on their respective powers under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which it said are “not always quick and effective at removing incursions and encampments”.

The injunction will initially remain in force until 18 June, on which date the council will return to the High Court. If it is working effectively in practice, the council will ask the court to extend it for three years.

“I am very pleased that we have obtained this injunction, which protects a significant number of valuable sites in the borough,” said council leader Ray Puddifoot.

“A great deal of our time and money is spent each year in dealing with incursions and encampments and these resources can now instead be used for the direct benefit of our residents.”

Image credit | Ray Stanton 

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