Merton Council has secured a borough-wide injunction banning unauthorised Traveller encampments on its land for the foreseeable future

The injunction granted by the High Court gives the council new powers to protect all of its properties including parks, open spaces, cemeteries, allotments, car parks, industrial estates, schools, leisure facilities and offices from the damage illegal occupations can cause.

In addition to covering council owned land the ban also covers Mitcham Common.

Leader of the council Stephen Alambritis, shared his delight of hearing the news.

RELATED: Huge fly-tip appears after Travellers take to Cannon Hill

“This injunction is about protecting Merton’s property including its beautiful and valuable parks and open spaces from damage," he said.

"Our aim is to ensure all our residents can fully enjoy the borough’s facilities."

Merton has seen a growth in illegal encampments in recent years and an associated increase in fly-tipping.

The council said that the bill for clean-up operations of unauthorised occupations of land, combined with officer time pursuing individual proceedings through courts has come to "many thousands of pounds."

RELATED: Travellers ‘being good neighbours’ in Oswaldtwistle

“We are taking this decisive and proactive action in response to a huge number of concerns expressed by residents and businesses over issues such as fly-tipping and environmental damage from unauthorised occupations," Mr Alambritis added.

“It is just not acceptable for the council to be spending many thousands of pounds a year on clearing up fly-tips and repairing damage to land caused by people occupying places illegally.

"This ban sends out a strong message that illegal encampments will not be tolerated in Merton.”

The injunction gives the council the power to require anyone illegally occupying its land to leave immediately and to seize vehicles if this request is not complied with.

The injunction granted at the High Court, which runs until March 2022, extended an interim three-month ban previously secured by the council last December.