#NegotiatedStoppingUK
  • Negotiated stopping is a term used to describe methods that Local Authorities can use to manage unauthorised encampment by people, most often Gypsies and Travellers, on land that they don’t own.

 

  • Unauthorised encampment is also referred to as ‘roadside stopping’ or simply as ‘stopping’ and is used to include unauthorised encampment on land which is not precisely by the roadside.

 

  • Sometimes unauthorised encampment is incorrectly described as illegal.  It is a civil offence and only becomes illegal if residents of the camp refuse to comply with a court or police order to leave.

 

  • Negotiated stopping involves Local Authority officers making an agreement with Gypsies and Travellers on unauthorised encampments.  The terms of the agreement can vary depending on the situation but will usually include matters such as correct waste disposal and other things which can be described as ‘good neighbourliness’. 

 

  • Provision and use of services, such as portaloos and household waste disposal, will often form part of the agreement.  Some authorities also supply water where possible.

 

  • The length of the agreement can also vary from 2 weeks to several months but tend to be around 28 days.

 

  • The agreement can apply to the land which has been camped on, or if it is unsuitable the LA can direct the group to an alternative more suitable location where an agreement can be made.

 

  • Having a negotiated agreement in place does not preclude the authority seeking to secure the land by means of Sec 77 CJPOA for example.  Indeed a magistrate may approve a possession order against an individual or family, where behaviour has been seen to breach the agreement, rather than a whole group.

 

  • Methods to negotiate stopping can include provision of dedicated, temporary, stopping facilities, such as provided on routes to and from the Appleby Horse fair, but should not be confused with the provision of ‘transit sites’.  A transit site is a permanent facility on which stopping is only allowed for short periods ranging from 28 days to 3 months.

 

  • Some transit sites have individual plots of tarmac hard standing and a utility shed with bathroom and toilet facilities.  Others might be even more basic but in whichever case the facility remains in situ permanently.

© 2018 by Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange

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