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Unauthorised Encampments

UNAUTHORISED ENCAMPMENTS ON COUNCIL AND PRIVATE OWNED LAND

Private Sector Housing are responsible for dealing with unauthorised encampments on council-owned land in the Dudley borough and for providing advice to private land owners in the borough who are affected by unauthorised encampments on their land. Our initial action involves identifying who owns the land and gathering information on who  forms part of the encampment. If the land is owned by the council we will take action including applying to the courts for the necessary order to remove the encampment. This will take up to 7 days dependent on the order we request and timetabling at the court. The order is then served on the persons encamping on the council’s land and if the persons do not move on then eviction proceedings will be commenced. Once the encampment has left the council will undertake any necessary clean up.

In certain situations where a large number of caravans and vehicles move onto land in the borough and are causing a nuisance to residents the Police may use their powers to move them on.

Any complaints concerning illegally parked travellers contact Private Sector Housing - 01384 815118 or housing.enforcement@dudley.gov.uk

PROCESS FOLLOWED AFTER TRAVELLERS MOVE ON TO LAND

When an unauthorised encampment occurs on council owned land the council visits them within 24 hours of notification to advise them they need to leave

- At the same time the council starts preparing legal papers to apply for possession orders at Court. The preparation of papers generally takes around 48 hours. Once they are registered at court they are served on the travellers and a date is set for a court hearing which must be at least two clear days after they are served (excluding weekends and bank holidays)

- If the court order is granted at the hearing, it is served to on the unauthorised encampment travellers usually on the same day, requiring them to move off the site immediately.

If they fail to move off the site, the council is legally obliged to apply for a possession warrant to the court. The court usually issues this within a few days but then has to set a date for the unauthorised encampment to move off the land or be forced off, using reasonable force if necessary. The time period for this can vary depending on the availability of bailiffs. If an encampment is large, the council may have to involve private bailiffs.

 

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