Council action on unauthorised tents and caravans

Winchester City Council is set to take action to remove several tent-like structures and caravans that are sited at various locations on the fringes of the City.

A report to the planning development control committee on 26 November says there is evidence of an increasing number of "domes" and that unless something is done, the trend of unauthorised encampments will continue.

The committee is being asked to encourage landowners, including local authorities, to evict trespassers, either through negotiation or court action if necessary. If successful, says the report, this could prove the most efficient way of dealing with the situation.

It also suggests using planning enforcement powers to tackle the issues, but warns it could be a time-consuming and expensive process.

The report recommends the committee to take action to stop the unauthorised use of land, and further recommends the City Council's Cabinet to authorise legal action to remove an unauthorised "dome" structure from land owned by the Council at Garnier Road, Winchester. Although it has been in existence for several years, it has been moved nearer the car park and extended.

A further 6 sites have been identified where other more recent "dome-like" structures/caravans have appeared, and because this type of structure is typically put up in wooded land, there may be others not yet discovered.

"If nothing is done, the various unauthorised encampments will eventually accrue immunity from planning enforcement powers" says the report.