Harlow Gets Preemptive Injunction to Stop Any Possible Traveller Site

LGC Of course the problem is the acute shortages of pitches in East Essex. The proposed change to policy will make matters worse as other East Essex authorities will need to take overspill from unauthorized encampments in Basildon.

An ‘unprecedented’ ban on unauthorised traveller encampments across an Essex town has been granted by the High Court.

Harlow Council and Essex County Council last week applied for the measure after months of collaboration.

The High Court interim injunction will stop any unauthorised traveller encampments being set up on 454 parcels of land across Harlow. It is thought no ban on this scale has ever been granted, with parks, playgrounds, highway verges, schools and private land all identified for protection.

Travellers on an unauthorised local encampment are being served with the order today, with papers being displayed across the region.

Councillors said that the move was ‘not about attacking travellers’ and emphasised Harlow was ‘a tolerant place’.

Some 109 different unauthorised encampments are thought to have been set up in Harlow since October 2013, with a high number of complaints from businesses and residents being lodged with the town hall.

The interim injunction will now remain in place until a further hearing.

Cllr Jon Clempner, leader of Harlow Council, said: ‘The town has had enough and we needed to resolve this situation with a long-term solution to protect land now and in the future.

‘This injunction is about protecting the town’s vulnerable open spaces, upholding the law and responding and listening to the concerns of residents and businesses. It is not – and never has been – about persecuting any particular group of people or their way of life.’

‘Places like green open spaces, which are part of the town’s unique character, are much-loved and residents are both fed up and angry with persistent unauthorised traveller encampments and the impact these cause. This situation has really tested the patience of the whole community and we need to end this cat-and-mouse game which is being played.’

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