From the District Council website:
“Rochford District Council has successfully obtained a High Court Interim Injunction after Travellers moved onto a site in Rayleigh.
The High Court Order was obtained on Friday March 31 after approximately 19 caravans moved onto the site in Michelins Farm, Arterial Road, in an effort to prevent any longer-term residential occupation of the site.
It was viewed that it would be prudent to take action rather than deal with the aftermath of any Travellers’ site becoming established, which can be a costly situation for local authorities to face.
The interim order means that if there is an attempt to move further caravans onto the site, or to make the site permanent, those responsible could be in Contempt of Court which is punishable ultimately by imprisonment.
The responsibility for removing the Travellers already on the site lies with the land owners and they have been contacted to discuss the options available to them. The Council is also liaising with the Essex Countywide Traveller Unit and the police.
Rochford District Council’s Allocations Plan has indicated that a lawful site should be provided at Michelins Farm in the future, however this is for 15 pitches only and is still at an early stage, with the services needed to make the site habitable not yet available.
Rochford District Council’s Executive Director, Nick Khan, said: “The Council became aware that about 19 caravans had moved onto the site at Michelins Farm and took immediate, decisive action in order to obtain an interim injunction from the High Court.
“It was felt that this action was necessary, and much more cost-effective, than waiting until a residential encampment had become established. This type of order tends to be a much more effective solution, which could also save the taxpayer from wasting large sums of money in the future.”
The interim injunction remains in place until a further hearing is held on April 6. “