TRAVELLER encampments could be blocked on both public and private land across Thurrock.

Thurrock Council has taken its application for an injunction preventing unauthorised encampments across the borough to the High Court.

The High Court appearance on July 31 is the first stage in the process of obtaining an injunction to prevent unauthorised encampments on both public and areas of private land in the borough.

The hearing allows papers to be served to the 107 named defendants, and each of the sites which are to be protected against unauthorised encampments.

Tory leader of Thurrock Council, Rob Gledhill, said: “This was the first stage of three-stage process with two more hearings set to take place later in the year.

“The current situation with unauthorised encampments in Thurrock is simply not acceptable and this injunction will act as a far greater deterrent and give us the powers we need to protect our land more effectively.

“We all understand that travellers have a transient lifestyle. As part of this process, we will ensure that encampments can be directed to an appropriate site for a short stoppage period.

“The court appearance is an important milestone in this complex process and I would like to thank everyone around the borough who has worked extremely hard toward this point.”

Recently, a large group of up to 16 caravans set up an unauthorised encampment on King George V memorial play field by Blackshots Leisure Centre.

Signs will be posted on sites which will be subject to the injunction outlining what is happening.