Thurrock MP wants council to get tough on South Ockendon “encampments”

THURROCK MP,Jackie Doyle Price rose on the floor of the house to ask for increased powers over “unauthorised encampments.

Ms Doyle Price asked secretary of state for communities, Eric Pickles:

“If he will take steps to increase the powers of local authorities to tackle unauthorised encampments.

Eric Pickles (Secretary of State, Communities and Local Government; Brentwood and Ongar, Conservative)

“The Localism Act 2011 will give councils more powers to tackle unauthorised development, such as stopping the abuse of retrospective planning permissions.

“We are reviewing what further steps can be taken to increase council powers to tackle unauthorised development and occupation.

“High-profile cases such as Parliament square and St Paul’s show that the current system is far too slow and that councils need stronger powers to protect local amenities.

Jackie Doyle-Price (Thurrock, Conservative)

Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is important that local authorities apply their powers consistently? Residents such as mine in South Ockendon find it very irritating that they have to abide by the council’s planning regulations while unauthorised encampments nearby are able to flout them with impunity.

Eric Pickles (Secretary of State, Communities and Local Government; Brentwood and Ongar, Conservative)

“My hon. Friend makes a reasonable point. It is important that everyone in this country is equal before the law and that the law is used against those who seek to abuse their position.

After the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill received Royal Assent, my Department started to work with the Home Office to produce guidance for local authorities that want to make byelaws that provide for the confiscation of property.

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