A group of travellers has been forced to leave Purley Way playing fields less than 24 hours after setting up shop.
Croydon Council was granted new powers in July this year through a High Court injunction to help enable the removal of illegal camps.Is this finally the end for this plague?
Well, no. Not quite. The council are in a buoyant mood about it though.
Councillor David Wood, deputy cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities, said: “This was a substantial illegal encampment and I’m glad the new powers are working well.
“This new arrangement allows officers to react quickly to incursions and help communities continue to enjoy valuable facilities.”However, the devil, as always, is in the detail. These are not new powers at all.
Croydon Council secured a three-month temporary injunction on Wednesday, July 18 banning anyone from occupying land or disposing of waste on 200 of the borough’s parks, open spaces, council land and 11 highways.The 'new powers' will cease on 18th October, and they'll be back to square one.
The council used evidence of large-scale fly-tipping and the cost of clearing it, damage to gates and barriers and a high number of incursions to secure the interim injunction order.
This means the council no longer has to attend court to obtain removal orders, which can take days to obtain, and High Court enforcement officers can be called to future sites to assist with moving people on.But this means that other councils can apply for similar injunctions, now a precedent has been set. So it'll be interesting to see which ones do, won't it?