Date published: 24th August 2017
Currently, the Council is able to issue a Direction to Leave land but, if this is not complied with, the Council needs to go to court to obtain a Magistrates Order to allow it to take enforcement action and move vehicles off the unauthorised sites.
Two Temporary Stopping Places with proper facilities are available for Travellers in the district, at Cromer and Fakenham, and North Norfolk District Council wants the power to be able to instruct Travellers to move to those sites without delay when they set up unauthorised encampments. Both those sites are used regularly.
If Travellers are unwilling to move to a Temporary Stopping Place when instructed to do so, then the Council wants the power to be able to move them off the unauthorised sites and away from the area immediately, rather than having to wait for a Magistrates Order, which can cause unacceptable delays, particularly at weekends.
Following a turbulent weekend for Cromer and Sheringham, together with other incidents across several other areas in the district, North Norfolk District Council has written to the Communities Secretary of State, Sajid Javid.
This letter calls for those Councils which have spent public funds in providing Temporary Stopping Places (TSPs) to be given the power to be able to move people on immediately when they arrive and pitch up on unauthorised sites, rather than have to apply for a Magistrates Order.
Council Leader Cllr Tom FitzPatrick said: “We believe we should have the power to be able to act straight away and not have to wait – especially over a weekend.
“North Norfolk is a stunning holiday destination and our resorts and other communities deserve respect. We welcome all individuals and groups who respect our towns and countryside, our residents and other visitors, but where people come and set up unauthorised encampments, without thought for others, this does not show any respect and we want the power to move them on immediately and if necessary out of our district. Those who don’t respect our resorts and visitor areas, whether Travellers or anyone else, are not welcome.
“Cromer is a wonderful seaside holiday resort, businesses in the area rely on the summer visitors yet for one of the busiest weekends of the year some pubs and other businesses were shut and people felt intimidated and harassed. A huge amount of work had gone into providing a great few days for visitors and this was spoiled by a few. That can never be acceptable.
“I welcome the announcement by the Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner that there will be a public meeting where residents will have the opportunity to ask policing-specific questions. We have offered to make our Council Chamber available for the meeting.”
North Norfolk District Council served a Notice to move on the 23 illegally parked camper vans and caravans early on Saturday afternoon (19 August 2017). The Notice required the travellers to move by 3pm that day.
The Notice was not complied with and, had the travellers not left on the Sunday, the Council would then have sought a Magistrates Order on the Monday to move them out of Cromer.
Last updated: 24th August 2017