NHDC takes action to prevent unauthorised encampments in Royston car park

PUBLISHED: 15:51 20 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:51 20 December 2019

Royston's Civic Centre Car Park. Picture: Google Street View

Royston's Civic Centre Car Park. Picture: Google Street View

Google Street View

North Hertfordshire District Council has been granted a two-year injunction order to prevent unauthorised encampments in the Royston Civic Centre Car Park.

There have been a number of unauthorised encampments in the last year at the car park, off King James Way. 
Each time council officers from Community Protection, Environmental Health and Legal departments have to consider potential court proceedings

to move the encampment on.

This process can take up to five days, has in the past caused disruption to those needing to use the car park or surrounding facilities and involves a disproportionate amount of officer time to manage the situation.

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This pre-emptive tool will help the council deal with these encampments more effectively.

The injunction order will be in force until December 16, 2021 and will give NHDC powers to immediately remove any unauthorised encampments from the car park.

Anyone breaching the injunction could be held in contempt of court and may be imprisoned, fined or have their assets seized.

Signs are now in place at the car park, advising people of the order on the site.

Councillor Judi Billing, NHDC's executive member for community engagement, said: "Moving on travellers costs the council a great deal of time and money every time it occurs, especially since we always do this with particular care for the health and safety of the travellers.

"At this site it also causes additional disruption to residents wishing to park in the town centre. Putting the injunction in place should hopefully act as a significant deterrent to potential future encampments."

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