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Unauthorised encampments

What happens if Gypsies/Travellers occupy their own ground without planning permission?

Gypsies and travellers are advised to undertake pre-application discussion with Local Planning Authorities to ascertain whether any proposals they may have for permanent sites are acceptable in land-use planning terms.

Where Gypsies purchase land and occupy it without planning permission, whilst this is not in itself an offence, the local planning authority has to consider the land use implications and the undesirable precedent of such development. This can often involve consideration of enforcement action.

More often than not, occupation of the land is accompanied by the submission of a retrospective planning application. If the outcome is the refusal of planning permission and a resolution to take enforcement action, there begins a lengthy process of appeals and court proceedings.

Last updated Wednesday, 7th December 2016

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