BY CALUM FRASER
A ban on illegal travellers’ camps in all parks in a South-east London borough has been given a three-year extension.
Greenwich council has successfully secured a borough-wide injunction to protect its 203 parks and open spaces, including land around housing estates, from unlawful encampments until March 18, 2021.
The injunction, granted at the High Court on Monday, March 19 effectively extends a three-month interim injunction which ended on March 18.
This action was taken after four travellers’ camps were illegally set up in borough parks during October and November last year.
Since April 2015, there have been 26 illegal encampments on sites owned by Greenwich council which collectively resulted in a clean-up bill of more than £400,000.
The ban, which only applies to land owned by the council, aims to prevent illegal encampments, but if any do occur then the council does not have to take individual court action which can delay evictions.
Councillor Jackie Smith, cabinet member for community safety and environment, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured this ban which will ensure our treasured parks and open spaces are protected from the damage travellers’ camps cause.
“We have taken decisive and proactive action on this issue in response to a huge number of concerns expressed by residents and businesses over issues such as fly-tipping and environmental damage from such unlawful encampments.
“Our approach has proved to be highly effective as despite the growing trend in illegal travellers’ sites there were no breaches of the interim ban.”
Copies of the injunction are posted outside all 203 council sites it protects.
The order can be viewed by going to www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/travellersinjunction
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.