William Eichler 09 June 2017

Council allocates £30,000 to evict squatter

A district council has decided to take ‘tough action’ to remove a man living on an unauthorised residential plot of land.

Members of Hambleton District Council’s cabinet have agreed to take out a High Court Injunction to bring what they described as ‘an eleven year saga’ to an end.

Despite previous enforcement action and prosecutions, the council insists the occupier has remained living in his caravan on the land ‘illegally’.

‘This has gone on for far too long - it is time we reached a resolution and saw this man moved off this land,’ said council leader Mark Robson.

‘He is living there illegally - he has lost previous appeals and still hasn’t moved on.

‘The council has now exhausted all conventional enforcement options and is left with no alternative but to seek a court injunction to have him removed from the site and prevent re-occupation.

‘If the injunction is approved and he fails to move - or returns - he could go to prison.’

A planning inspector who dismissed appeals against previous enforcement notices said the plot would cause an ‘unacceptable loss of highway safety’ and that site access was ‘so hazardous’ it put highway users at ‘persistent and serious risk of accident.’

Cabinet members agreed to apply to the High Court for an injunction to end the unauthorised use and prevent re-occupation, and allocated £30,000 to pay for the action.

‘This may seem tough action but the council has planning rules for a reason and the public rightly expect us to enforce those rules,’ said Mr Robson.

‘The entrance to this site is dangerous - it is an accident waiting to happen. We cannot take that risk - this unauthorised occupation must come to an end.’

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