Unauthorised Encampment reports
Newbold Comyn (4/6/18) - we were aware of an unauthorised encampment on the football pitches. WDC officers have attended the site with the Police today. The Police have served a notice, and the site was vacated the same day.
To report unauthorised encampments we are not aware of call us on 01926 456 358 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Unauthorised encampments also include individuals camping without permission.
Who is responsible for possession proceedings
Our Private Sector Housing Team are only responsible for initiating possession proceedings where unauthorised encampments are on Warwick District Council land.
Where the encampment is not on Warwick District Council land, it is the responsibility of the landowner to initiate possession proceedings.
If Travellers are encamped on the verges of the public highway, Warwickshire County Council will be responsible for obtaining possession. You can contact them on 01926 418033 or check reports of encampments on their website.
Process for gaining possession of land
Warwick District Council, like other landlords must follow a legal process to regain possession of our land:
- Notice to leave is issued requiring the land to be vacated immediately or by a specified time, this is usually on the same day we become aware of the unauthorised encampment.
- We re-visit the site after the notice to leave has expired. If the land has not been vacated we are required to obtain a possession order from the Court.
- Court papers are then prepared for our Solicitors to obtain the next available court date for a hearing.
- Once the court order has been obtained it is served upon the individuals occupying the land, giving a final opportunity to leave.
- If the site is not vacated at this point, bailiffs are requested to enforce eviction.
The Private Sector Housing Team cannot request a specific date from the court, we can only obtain the next available vacant hearing slot. If an encampment does not voluntarily move on, we cannot bring the encampment to an end without a Court order.
The Police have limited powers to move on unauthorised encampments, these can only be used where there is a group of 6 or more vehicles and they are causing severe anti-social behaviour or criminal damage. The Police cannot use these powers unless the unauthorised encampment meets strict legal criteria.
Should any member of the public witness anti-social behaviour or crime, this should be reported to the Police. If the incident is not an emergency it can be reported on the non-emergency number 101.
There are currently no authorised sites within the district where Gypsies and Travellers can legally stay. Warwick District Council will have regard to its Local Plan and it's policy on unauthorised encampments, see below.
Warwickshire Authorities joint working protocol
This is intended to provide a co-ordinated approach to unauthorised encampments in Warwickshire, and Warwick District Council have signed up to this protocol.