Help at hand over unauthorised sites

Landowners who may be experiencing problems with unauthorised encampments are encouraged to call on the expertise of officers at Northumberland County Council.

Sunday, 16th July 2017, 10:08 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 7:44 am
An example of a traveller site.

For a fixed-negotiation charge, the local authority is now offering support to them through its fully rounded, professional service, which it says would ensure a quick resolution and smooth move-on of the group from the site.

It has a dedicated liaison officer, who works with traveller and non-traveller communities and can be called upon to begin negotiations with them or take up welfare concerns.

A landowner could also be given support from the council’s legal and public protection teams should court action be required to remove the encampment.

John Riddle, cabinet member for planning, housing and resilience at the county council, said: “Our officers have years of experience and knowledge of working with traveller groups and often know the families who travel through the county on a regular basis.

“In most cases, there are no issues with these types of encampments, but where a landowner feels they need some extra support, the council can help.”

A fee of £200 would be levied to a landowner for officer time in visiting and managing a move-on of the encampment – this would increase to £400 if court preparation papers or attendance at court by an officer was required.

Any further costs, such as bailiff costs or exceptional court costs, would be agreed with the landowner first.