Greenwich Council has managed to extend its ‘Travellers Ban’ covering parks across the borough for another three years.

The ban started after the council got fed up with camps being unlawfully set up on green spaces, leaving council staff with large bills when they had to clean up the rubbish afterwards.

From April 2015 to December 2017, Greenwich Council had to spend more than £400,000 to cover the cost of evictions, rubbish removal and ground restoration after 26 camps were unlawfully set up.

An interim injunction was granted by the High Court in December that lasted until March 18, which meant anyone who set up on council-owned land could face arrest and even jail time.

Using these powers, police and council staff descended on multiple traveller encampments last month to clear out the illegal occupants.

Now Greenwich Council has been able to extend the injunction by three years, until March 2021, effectively replacing the previous injunction.

Councillor Jackie Smith, cabinet member for community safety and environment, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured this ban which will ensure our treasured parks and open spaces are protected from the damage travellers’ camps cause.

“We have taken decisive and proactive action on this issue in response to a huge number of concerns expressed by residents and businesses over issues such as fly-tipping and environmental damage from such unlawful encampments.

“Our approach has proved to be highly effective as despite the growing trend in illegal travellers’ sites there were no breaches of the interim ban.”