TRAVELLERS have been prevented from moving on to a green belt site in Rawreth after Rochford District Council successfully obtained a High Court Interim Injunction.
The High Court Order was obtained as a pre-emptive measure to prevent the site off Cheshunt Drive, off Rawreth Lane, from being used as a traveller site.
The move was taken by the council after hardcore and fencing appeared on the site and it was considered necessary and expedient to take action to prevent a residential occupation.
It was viewed that it would be prudent to take action ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend rather than deal with the aftermath of any Travellers’ site being established.
By taking pre-emptive action, this could save the council hundreds of thousands of pounds associated with a situation where travellers have already settled on a site.
If the landowner were to breach the Interim Injunction they would be in contempt of court, which is punishable ultimately by imprisonment.
The order means the landowner cannot
• Use the site as a traveller pitch
• Erect, bring or allow caravans or mobile homes (of any type whatsoever including touring or static), sheds, structures or storage facilities on the site
• Introduce hardstanding onto the site
• Carry out any building works or engineering operations whatsoever including but not limited to the installation, or connection to, services on the site.
Rochford District Councillor for planning, Ian Ward, said: “Rochford District Council has successfully obtained a High Court Interim Injunction to block travellers moving onto a greenbelt site in Rawreth.
“We’ve all heard of the horror stories where councils have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds to evict Travellers from a site which is unsuitable.
"It would seem much more sensible to take pre-emptive action where it is necessary.
"This is a much cheaper and more effective option, which saves the taxpayer from having to shell out large sums of money.
“The Council will not hesitate in taking firm and decisive action against those who breach planning rules.
“I would also emphasise that the Council is taking steps to provide suitable space for Gypsies and Travellers through our Allocations Plan, which has provision for a lawful site at Michelins Farm.”
The Council will pursue a full injunction at the High Court next week.