Milton Keynes Council evicts illegal encampment

Pendeen before and after
Pendeen before and after

MK Council has evicted an illegal encampment at Pendeen Crescent (Snelshall East) after they failed to comply with a court eviction order.

Bailiffs were called in to remove the group this week and waste removal teams were quickly sent in to clean up the site.

The group at Pendeen Crescent were originally moved on from the camp by MK Council in the summer after causing problems for local residents.

Since the start of the year 152 notices have been served on encampments by the council and its partners. Around three quarters of these were served on a small number of groups who moved from one encampment to another.

Serving notice only obliges trespassers to move for a fixed period of time, and the council’s enforcement officers regularly face the problem of groups returning to the same spot.

To help, earlier this month the council published a list of the first eight MK sites that will receive additional physical defences against unauthorised encampments, part of a £250,000 investment. Barriers including concrete blocks, gates, fences, earth ‘bunds’ and trenches will installed in open spaces to dissuade unauthorised access.

The specialist clear up by council contractor Serco has already taken place removing household items as well as burned trollies and fuel cans.

Councillor Pete Marland said “Residents will be pleased to see the back of this encampment as they’ve had to put up with a great deal of anti-social behaviour. I understand why people want us to evict camps immediately but evictions have to be done through courts and it’s not an overnight process.”

“Prevention is important, which is why work has already started to help protect vulnerable open space in MK from unauthorised encampments. But a determined group will get past defences, even two-tonne concrete blocks.”

“In some cases outrageous behaviour such as burning cables continued despite physical barriers and our current best efforts. That’s why we’ve committed to collecting evidence to take to court and seek injunctions. That takes time and isn’t easy but we won’t stop trying because we understand and share the real frustration of residents on this issue.“

“We’ll keep working closely with Thames Valley Police to track evidence for, and stop, environmental crime and wider criminal activities. People who break the law need to face justice.”