North Kesteven District Council has successfully applied for an injunction that strictly prohibits unauthorised encampments at its ONE NK leisure facility in North Hykeham, as well as the health centres and North Kesteven School that share the site.
The injunction, which carries a power of arrest, was approved by a High Court judge on Thursday, May 16. It takes immediate affect and follows on from a recent encampment by a group of travellers, the fourth in four years.
It seeks to prevent the harms caused by previous encampments, protect all people using the One NK site from any further harm or abuse, and protect valuable public facilities for the benefit of our communities.
Anyone who contravenes this injunction is liable to be arrested and may be imprisoned, fined or have their assets seized.
Since June 2015, the One NK leisure centre car park has been affected by unauthorised encampments on four occasions, creating substantial negative impacts on the One NK leisure centre, its employees and members of the public. They have also affected North Kesteven School and the adjoining health centres.
Problems arising from these encampments include abuse of people using the site, including site employees, school students and members of the public; fly tipping and littering, theft and criminal damage.
The court process required to evict these encampments, and the clean up operations required afterwards, are costly and can take several days. The encampments also have a detrimental impact on people being able to use our public leisure centre, which is an important asset used by our communities.
The Council’s main priority in seeking the injunction is to protect users of the site from harm. This injunction will also enable any future incursions can be dealt with quickly and robustly, whilst ensuring the availability and quality of our public leisure facilities.