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Harlow Council granted injunction against illegal traveller encampments

News / Tue 3rd Mar 2015 at 03:10pm

Harlow Council and Essex County Council have today been granted an interim town-wide injunction from the High Court banning the setting up of unauthorised Traveller encampments in Harlow.

The interim injunction remains in place until a hearing for the full injunction takes place later in the year.

Leader of Harlow Council, Councillor Jon Clempner, 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. An injunction, which covers a piece of land here and there was never going to work, so we had to look at a something which has never been done before and is town-wide. Months and months of detailed preparation backed up with a catalogue of community concerns meant we had a very strong case that could be put forward to the judge.

“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.

“Harlow is a tolerant place; there are and will continue to be positive relations between the town’s settled travellers living on the two public permanent sites and the rest of the community. However, 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.

“Since summer 2014 we have led on finding a long term solution, exploring every single legal avenue. I am sorry to residents and businesses for the time this has taken as I know it has been an extremely frustrating time for everyone. Seeking a High Court injunction of this size and scale takes time and requires a huge amount of preparation to get it right especially when it has never been done anywhere before.”

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