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Government to consult on temporary stop notices to prevent unauthorised traveller sites

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has set out the details of plans announced by him earlier this week to remove restrictions on the use of temporary stop notices, giving councils greater freedom to prevent unauthorised traveller sites being set up.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has announced in a statement that it will launch a consultation on the proposals to remove current restrictions on the use of temporary stop notices by councils  

Councils will be able to use temporary stop notices as a measure to take immediate action when they identify unauthorised development, saving them from waiting three days for a stop notice or 28 days for an enforcement notice. This will save councils costs and avoid the difficulty in enforcing against stop or enforcement notices, Pickles said.

The temporary stop notices can be used against caravans used as main residences and which are in breach of planning control. There has been a small minority which has sought to abuse the planning system, and the Government believes that this proposal will assist local councils in taking effective action, Pickles said.

Pickles said that local councils should not be constrained by blanket rules as the councils themselves are best placed to judge when to use a temporary stop notice in relation to caravans.

Any person guilty of breaching a temporary stop notice will be liable to a fine of up to £20,000, which can be increased to an unlimited fine, on conviction on indictment in the Crown Court, Pickles said.

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