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Gypsy/traveller incursions on land

Groups of travellers occasionally camp on land in the district with their caravans and vehicles. To report an incursion of Travellers onto land in the district, please provide details on the Traveller form.

  1. If the landowner has granted permission for Travellers to camp on land, the land may be used for this purpose for up to 28 days without requiring planning permission. For more details on planning requirements, contact Planning Enforcement.
  2. If permission has not been given, it is the landowner's responsibility to remove trespassers either through the Courts or by exercising a landlord's Common Law right to evict trespassers. Landowners are recommended to seek advice before exercising the right to evict and may wish to use bailiffs to assist the process.
  3. The Police have powers under section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to serve a Direction to Move On if the Travellers have six or more caravans. The Police will usually require evidence of an increase in criminality associated with the presence of the Travellers before exercising their powers.
  4. If the incursion is onto Tandridge District Council land, the Council will take appropriate action as a landowner. It does however, have to take into account Government guidance to local authorities requiring the Council to consider tolerating their presence for short periods and also to enquire whether there are any medical, social or educational reasons why the Council should not move them on.
  5. Travellers on Surrey County Council land, which includes highways and lay-bys should be reported to their Estates Section .

In certain circumstances, the Council may be able to assist local landowners with the eviction of Travellers. For more information contact Environmental Health on the contact details below.

When Travellers move away, they may leave behind accumulations of rubbish and waste materials and the responsibility for clearing the land rests with the landowner.

If the landowner is aware that waste is being deposited on the land, the Environment Agency, as the Waste Regulation Authority, should be contacted for advice on 0800 807060. The Environment Agency has powers to take enforcement action against persons who deposit controlled waste on land.


Removing illegal encampments and clearing up afterwards can be a time consuming and expensive business and it is in landowners interests to take appropriate steps to secure their land against trespassers.