Explaining what unauthorised gypsy and traveller encampments are and how to report them.
An unauthorised encampment is where people are living in vehicles on council land including roadsides and verges but do not have permission to do so.
Yes, you can report an unauthorised encampment online (opens in new window).
or by calling us on:
Tel: (01482) 396301
(office hours 8.30am - 5.00pm Monday - Thursday, 8.30am - 4.30pm Friday).
An officer will investigate your report as soon as possible, usually within 5 working days.
The council has powers to move travellers from unauthorised encampments on council-owned land. When an unauthorised encampment on council land is reported, a visit will be made to identify the land in question, and gather information on the group, including the level of any nuisance being caused.
Depending on the circumstances, and following the service of a notice to vacate the land, an application may be made to the County Court for possession. Alternatively, Direction Notices may be issued by the council, which instruct the travellers to leave by a certain date. Due to the legal processes involved, it may take some time to resolve. In most cases, travellers will move on voluntarily without the need for formal eviction or court proceedings.
The council always tries to act reasonably when dealing with unauthorised encampments and is required to follow the current legislation. Due to the high level of interest these cases can attract, it is not always possible for officers to return calls to members of the public, however all complaints will be recorded and the unauthorised encampment dealt with.
Further guidance on enforcement powers has been produced by government:
GOV.uk - Dealing with illegal and unauthorised encampments (external website)