Prevention of unauthorised encampments
We seek to protect all of our car parks and open spaces, however it is not possible to stop all access to council-owned land and sometimes unauthorised encampments will be established.
We have reviewed all of our vulnerable open spaces, and in consultation with Ward Councillors have installed a range of security measures including metal posts, wooden posts, height barriers, ditches and additional planting remaining sympathetic to the urban or rural nature of the locality.
Between 2014 to 2015 and today, we invested over £80,000 in further security of our land. All sites are checked regularly by our contractors and any vulnerable areas are improved, for instance extra metal plates welded to locked gates to provide extra security.
Together with Surrey Police we have agreed a protocol so that policy and clear lines of responsibility are in place. This protocol sets out the overall approach in Elmbridge.
We were granted a 3-year injunction on 8 November 2018 protecting our land from setting up an encampment and/or fly tipping. This initially proved very effective reducing the number of encampments on Elmbridge owned land, however this was surrendered in 2020 following new case law. More recently this case law has now overturned this general position and Elmbridge are now reconsidering a fresh injunction application.