Gypsy, traveller and caravan sites
The council is responsible for dealing with unauthorised gypsy and traveller camps on land owned by the Council.
The travelling community may set up an encampment on someone’s land without consent, including highway verges and lay-bys. This is a breach of civil law and, in certain circumstances, may be a breach of criminal law.
Everyone has rights, including the travellers, the local community and the people who own the land where the unauthorised encampment is located.
Gypsies and Travellers, as with all other ethnic groups who have a particular culture, language or values, are protected from discrimination by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 and the Human Rights Act 1998,
The decision to adopt a travelling lifestyle where housing need is met through living within a vehicle either on a long or short-term basis is made by a wide variety of people for a wide variety of reasons. It is therefore important that Gypsies and Travellers are not denied the right to mainstream services that the Council provides.
The council must;
- Have regard to the general health and welfare of the group and the children’s education
- Ensure that the Human Rights Act 1998 has been fully complied with
There are no Local Authority owned Gypsy and Traveller camp sites in the area.
Unauthorised encampments on local authority owned land
The council will initially prove ownership of the land and provide evidence that the Gypsy or Travellers are on the land without consent. Officers will then carry out assessments for the health, welfare and education, and assess the impact of the encampment on its location and local neighbourhood.
This information may be used for the service of notices and summonses to apply for a court order to enable the council to evict the encampment from the site and may make an application to the Magistrates Court for an Eviction Order or to County Court for a Possession Order.
To ensure those members of both the settled and travelling communities can live together in a peaceful and unprejudiced way we expect you to comply with this Code of Conduct. We expect you to treat the land you have occupied with respect, and that you respect the rights and freedoms of other people who also wish to use the area. Behaviour that may result in your eviction from a site includes the following:
- Camping upon any land designated as a public amenity, such as parks, recreation areas, school fields and similar locations (not an exhaustive list).
- Interfering with the rights and freedoms of other members of the public, including interrupting the operation of legitimate businesses.
- Forcing entry to land, by causing damage to any fixtures, fittings or landscaping (including planted areas). This includes digging away of earthwork defences, which have been placed at landowner’s expense to prevent trespass.
- Causing any other damage to the land itself, or property on it. Particular care should be taken not to cause damage to those features provided as public amenities.
- Driving vehicles along any footpath, or other highway not specifically designed for road vehicles. This practice is not only unlawful but is also highly dangerous.
- Parking vehicles or caravans on any road, footpath or other highway that causes an obstruction to other people wanting to pass by. This includes parking immediately next to footpaths.
- Dumping or tipping rubbish, waste materials or trade waste such as tree cuttings, rubble, etc. It is your responsibility to keep the site clean and tidy. Council Traveller Liaison Officers can direct you to Civic Amenity Sites (Council tips) where you will be able to pay to dispose of trade waste.
- Use of the area as a toilet. You must not deposit or leave human waste openly in public areas.
- Abuse, intimidation or harassment of any person who is lawfully using the area.
- Excessive noise or other forms of anti-social behaviour.
- Animals that are not kept under control or that attack persons lawfully on the land, or nearby.
- Interference with electrical, water or gas supplies. Any person(s) found abstracting electricity, or wasting quantities of water may be subject of criminal proceedings.
These codes are the same standards of behaviour that are expected of the settled community.
Unauthorised encampments on privately owned land
It is the landowner’s responsibility to take the necessary action to evict the encampment.
The landowner can attempt to agree a leaving date with the travellers or take proceedings in the County Court under the Civil Procedures Rules 1998 to obtain a Court Order for their eviction as trespassers.
If the landowner fails to take action, they may be in breach of Planning legislation and the Caravan Sites Act 1960 unless the landowner has already obtained planning permission for a caravan site.
If there is no planning permission the council may take proceedings against the landowner to require removal of the illegally parked caravans.
Licensing caravan parks and campsites
Licenses are legal requirement for all caravan sites. An officer from North East Lincolnshire Council will inspect all caravan sites in the borough twice a year and issue the license when necessary.
If you allow your land to be used as a camping site by the public for more than 42 days consecutively, or 60 days in a year, you require a licence from the local authority. Please contact the Private Sector Renewal Team for further information on 01472 324765.
Home Improvement Team, New Oxford House, 2 George Street, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN31 1HB
Telephone: 01472 326296
Opening times: Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm and Friday 9am to 4:30 pm, except bank holidays