CLA statement on government review to tackle illegal Gypsy and traveller sites

10 October 2017

Communities Minister Alok Sharma has announced a government consultation to review the effectiveness of current enforcement against unauthorised developments and encampments.

CLA Director of Policy and Advice Christopher Price said: “Illegal encampments in rural areas have a detrimental economic, environmental and social impact on local businesses and communities as well as to the private landowner.  

“Travellers who occupy land illegally should not be given significant protections which prevent their lawful removal. Existing powers of enforcement could be used much more effectively on private land if the local authority, police and other relevant agencies had a more co-ordinated approach and used their joint resources at an earlier stage in the development of an illegal camp.

To really tackle illegal sites, the Government must ensure there is suitable provision of lawful camps to avoid the issues that arise from unauthorised encampments.

“We will respond to the consultation making clear the impact that illegal encampments have on private land and within rural communities.”