Traveller & gypsy sites

Report an encampment on council-owned land

If there is an unauthorised encampment on our land, we immediately visit the site to check:

  • tidiness (sometimes this means that waste collection facilities may be provided)
  • the disruption to local residents and businesses
  • if it's obstructing highways or public rights of way
  • any activity the police may have had reports of
  • if there are any welfare and humanitarian issues.


If gypsies/travellers are causing problems, they will be moved on as soon as is possible and reasonable.

Usually we agree an acceptable deadline with the campers. This is cheaper and quicker than taking legal action.

If we can't agree an eviction deadline there are powers the police can use. We have to apply these in line with the Human Rights Act and Race Relations Act, otherwise we may be challenged in court.

To evict gypsies/travellers, we first must:

  • show that the gypsies/travellers are on the land without consent.
  • make enquiries regarding the general health, welfare and children's education.
  • ensure that the Human Rights Acts 1998 has been fully complied with.
  • follow a set procedure in terms of proving ownership of land and details of the illegal encampment.

How long it takes to evict gypsies/travellers will depend upon the circumstances of each individual case. We will need to take account of the issues outlined above as well as how soon we can obtain a court hearing date.

Court refusals of evictions

The court may refuse to grant an order where:

  • there are unavoidable reasons (such as health grounds) for staying on the site.
  • the court believes that we have failed to follow due process in recovering the land. 

To report a gypsy or traveller encampment on council-owned land, contact our customer services team on 01543 308000 weekdays, Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm (not including bank holidays) or email