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Councils in court bid to extend injunction banning unauthorised camps to 2021

Harlow Borough Council and Essex County Council have applied to extend an injunction which bans unauthorised traveller encampments across the borough.

The councils applied to the High Court last week and the case is due to be heard on 14 June, two days before the current injunction expires.

This bans 35 named persons from setting up unauthorised camps anywhere in Harlow and additionally prohibits person unknown from camping on 321 sites that include parks, playgrounds, highway verges, schools and some private land.

The councils will ask the court to extend the injunction until 15 June 2021 – with a review in June 2019 – and to include an additional site and five more named people in order.

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They gained the original injunction in March 2015 after Harlow saw 109 unauthorised encampments over a period of nearly 18 months, leading to concerns from residents and businesses including damage to public spaces, fly-tipping, human waste, and anti-social behaviour. A full injunction was granted in December that year.

Harlow said the injunction had proved a deterrent which quickly resolved any issues on land covered.

The legal documents involved may be seen at: www.harlow.gov.uk/illegal-encampments

Mark Smulian

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