Do we have a duty to move Gypsies and Travellers when they are camped without permission?
No. If Gypsies and Travellers are camped on private land, it is usually the landowner’s responsibility. The Government has advised that when Gypsies and Travellers are not causing a problem, the site may be tolerated.
If Gypsies and Travellers camp on private land, what can landowners do?
Talk to the Gypsies and Travellers and identify any needs and see if a leaving date can be agreed.
If a compromise cannot be reached, and you have no option, then you can take proceedings in the county court (under the Civil Procedure Rules 1998) to obtain a court order for their eviction. There must be a minimum of two clear days between service of documents and the court hearing.
What happens if the landowner decides to let people stay on the land temporarily?
The landowner may have already obtained planning permission for a caravan site. They could be a farmer and the Gypsies and Travellers could be helping with fruit picking, for example. However, in some circumstances the landowner could be in breach of the planning acts and the acts dealing with the licensing of caravan sites.
You may wish to seek further advice from us about illegal encampments by calling 01724 297000.
What can we do if the landowner fails to take appropriate action to remove them?
If the landowner is in breach of any planning or licence requirements, we will take proceedings against him or her. The proceedings will require removal of the illegal encampment.
Can we remove Gypsies and Travellers from our land immediately?
No, we must:
- Make enquiries regarding the general health, welfare and children’s education
- Ensure that the Human Rights Act 1998 has been fully complied with
- Follow a set procedure in terms of proving ownership of land and details of the illegal encampment. This will enable us to fully obtain the necessary authority from the courts to order the Gypsies and Travellers to leave the site