Council has ‘no plans’ to evict Barnstaple homeless camp

PUBLISHED: 10:13 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:13 30 November 2017

Protestors outside of Barnstaple County Court this morning (Wednesday).

Protestors outside of Barnstaple County Court this morning (Wednesday).

Archant

North Devon Council said it has no plans to evict Seven Brethren camp if occupants accept help to find new accomodation.

North Devon Council says it has ‘no plans’ to evict a Barnstaple homeless camp at this stage.

On November 15, a county court judge granted the council a possession order to take back the land at Seven Brethren after 14 days.

This expired yesterday (Wednesday) but the council said it had no plans to remove the camp until it has found the occupants somewhere else to live.

A spokeswoman for the council said one of the two original occupants had left the camp and NDC was ‘continuing to work towards a longer term accommodation plan to suit his needs’.

She said: “The other occupant has been offered suitable accommodation but despite our best efforts, he has so far been unwilling to accept this offer.

“Our rough sleeper outreach workers will continue to make contact with this individual and we hope he will accept our offer of accommodation in due course.”

The council also confirmed in the last week two other rough sleepers had arrived at the site with no local connection.

For this reason, the council will not be offering accomodation to them, though the outreach team has offered them advice and they intend to move from the site ‘imminently’.

The spokeswoman continued: “Our rough sleeper outreach workers have been in frequent contact with those sleeping at the camp.

“They have a good understanding of their needs and have been working hard to find suitable accommodation for them.

“We don’t currently plan to remove the camp at the end of the 14 days unless we have found the occupants somewhere to live.

“However, if our offers of accommodation are not accepted we will have to consider exercising the possession order.

“We would be really disappointed if our offers of help are rejected.

“We have been working very hard to find accommodation suited to these individuals’ needs, and we desperately want to get them off the streets.”

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