Milton Keynes Council intends to seek a court injunction to prevent repeated unauthorised encampments on Pendeen Crescent within weeks.
The Council has been working for months to collect evidence that would be admissible in court in order to obtain an injunction on specific sites that have had repeated unauthorised encampment incursions.
Travellers have recently returned to the Pendeen site, in South West MK, which has been the area that has had numerous issues over the past months, including cable burning, rubbish dumping and anti-social behaviour. At a Full Council meeting last week Cllr Anthony Brown, who represents Tattenhoe ward, asked the council if they could provide the residents with a clearer idea of what action is being taken.
MK Council Leader Pete Marland has confirmed that MK Council would be applying to court as soon as the evidential base is ready, and that it could be within weeks.
Cllr Peter Marland, Leader of MK Council, said: “I totally understand the frustration of local residents who want to know what the council is doing, and to not put the best outcome at risk I am limited in what I can say, which is frustrating to me as I would love to fully explain to residents what is going on.”
He continued: “I can say that with the actions we have taken in recent months we are now at a stage where we believe our evidential base is strong enough to submit to the court very soon and hopefully get a good result, but as with any court proceedings there are no guarantees. We have collected evidence of the continued nature of these unauthorised encampments, the cost of cleaning them up and the anti-social behaviour suffered by residents. We are now also able to demonstrate that physical barriers alone are not enough to prevent encampments, and that the council is committed to ensuring we provide the right level of permanent pitches in the city for the traveller community. A balanced approach is absolutely vital to the chances of success and our legal advice is very clear is that we would not be as likely to be successful in court without establishing we are treating all communities fairly. Many people don’t want to hear this, but I’d rather do the right thing and get a good result, than play the easy game and lose.”
He concluded: “We are absolutely committed to stamping out unauthorised encampments. We have provided physical barriers, more staff resources and will proceed with court action when appropriate, but we also want a long term solution which includes treating law-abiding citizens from all communities with respect.”