Please note: Following a ruling in the High Court, City of Wolverhampton Council’s injunction to prohibit unauthorised encampments has been discharged. We are appealing this decision and will work with partners to take action on any incidents in the meantime. Work to develop our short-stay stopping site is not affected by this decision and the development will continue.
Private land owners are responsible for the removal of unauthorised encampments on their land. Being the victim of unauthorised access onto private land can be both a major nuisance as well as a costly experience, particularly in having to clear up any waste that is usually left behind. The site protection measures below will not guarantee unauthorised access, but will make privately owned land less inviting:
Mounding: Mounds and/or ditches make it difficult for a vehicle and trailer/caravan to gain access without risking damage to the vehicles. They can also help in limiting joy-riders vehicles' being abandoned on land. Mounds are generally formed using rubble/subsoil as a base, with a suitable topsoil finish for either grass seeding/planting.
Gates: A strong, robust gate will help deter access. The gate will need to be able to be secured with a toughened padlock. Metal gates/barriers are more desirable than wooden gates.
Height Barrier: Toughened steel padlocks and 'boxing' in the connection will make it more difficult for access to be gained. If this is coupled with a metal field gate it will also help to restrict access for joy-riders etc.
Fencing/Barriers: There are many different types of fencing available. The most robust is steel palisade. Euroguard fencing is also a strong barrier. Wooden close-board fencing generally looks better but is more vulnerable to damage and vandalism. The local Planning Authority should be consulted on this type of fencing before going ahead with construction. A secured height barrier will restrict access to vehicles over 1.8m high and care should always be taken to ensure barriers are secured as intended. Using wooden / metal / concrete posts will deter informal access but will not be sufficient to deter those more intent on gaining access.
FAQs to deal with incursions on private land
People are coming onto my property with the intention of setting up camp, what can I do to stop them?
Unfortunately there is little you can do to stop them coming onto your land unless you can obstruct the entry point. Applying the counter measures outlined above will help deter future incursions.
They are aggressive and threatening, what can I do?
It is advisable to contact the police who will be available to stop any breach of the peace and possibly consider using Section 61 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (CJPOA) to evict in the right circumstances.
Who is responsible for getting people removed from my land?
As the landowner, you are responsible.
What legislation can I use to remove people from my property?
It is advisable to speak to your solicitor but Common Law/Part 55 Civil Procedures Rules can be utilised.
Where can I get some advice on how to deal with the unauthorised encampment?
Contact the council on 01902 551155.
My business is being affected by the unauthorised encampment, what can I do?
Contact the council on 01902 551155 for advice.
How can the police help?
If you would like further information or advice from the police about incursions please call 101 - the police non-emergency number. If you feel threatened or require immediate assistance ring 999.
Can I employ a company to assist in removing the travellers?
Please speak to your solicitor about this. You may be able to employ bailiffs to assist you.
The unauthorised encampment has gone, but left a lot of mess, whose responsibility is it to get it removed?
As the landowner you are responsible for the removal of any waste.
Who can remove the waste left?
Any licensed waste contractor can remove the waste
Are there any authorised negotiated stopping points (NSPs) or other sites available locally?
We have an NSP at Gorsebrook Road. Dudley’s Budden Road site opened in August 2020 and there are currently sites at Boulton Road, Smethwick and Proctor Street in Nechells, Birmingham.