Essex

Harlow traveller ban extended for three years

Travellers' camp in Harlow
Image caption The original injunction against travellers' caravans parked in Harlow was obtained in 2013

An injunction banning travellers from setting up unauthorised camps in Harlow has been extended for three years.

It protects more than 320 sites across the town and will now run until June 2020.

The current injunction was due to expire at midnight on Friday but has been extended by the High Court in London.

It follows a successful application by Harlow Council and Essex County Council.

Those who breach the injunction face a fine or even prison.

'Not persecution'

The original injunction was granted in 2015. At the time, the Gypsy Council described it as "like a police state".

Jon Clempner, leader of Harlow Council, said: "I am very pleased that our injunction can continue to be enforced for another three years.

"This injunction is about upholding the law, responding and listening to the concerns of residents and businesses and protecting the town's green open spaces and business areas.

"It is not - and never has been - about persecuting any particular group of people or their way of life."

Meanwhile a group of travellers who have pitched up on land in Rayleigh, Essex, have been given 24 hours to leave the site.

The 12 caravans arrived at the rear of the Grange Community Centre in Little Wheatley Chase last weekend.

Legal action is now being taken against the travellers.

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