Case study 20: Nottingham resident given CPN forcing him to clear homeless man off his land

(Statement from CPN recipient) ‘A homeless guy pitched his tent on a tiny parcel of our land next to our garage. He definitely slept there sometimes, alongside his shopping trolley of chattels. Nottingham City Community Protection individually served my wife and I with identical CPNs

The CPN is for ‘permitting the pitching up of a tent, causing the accumulation of waste items and an odour coming from the area’.

The schedule is to:

  1. Clear all items including the tent, items of waste, and any miscellaneous items to eradicate any odour (within 1 week).
  2. Once the above requirement has been completed keep the area clear (within 1 week and ongoing).

The local authority knows the homeless man. They moved him on from a nearby public piece of land, after which he pitched up on our land.

From our house we noticed no smell, though being a homeless guy with no facilities, I guess there might be occasions when he did. None of our neighbours made any comment, nor as far as we know, any complaint.

I really didn’t want to be removing the chap’s tent or doing anything with his meagre belongings. These are not fly tipped items – they’re the poor chap’s processions. Neither can I see how I can keep an area clear in perpetuity.

We had the warning, which we thought would just lapse because it seemed so unreasonable we couldn’t imagine the city council actually proceeding. However, they proceeded to a full CPN.

The Community Protection Department was very unhelpful, so I didn’t hold any hope in appealing to them. A number of incidents lead me to believe they are targeting this homeless chap to get him out of the area and we were collateral damage. It felt immoral for me to be responsible for removing the homeless man’s shelter.

The tent was barely visible from the public highway. It was made more visible by the yellow CPO sticker that the council put on it.

The day before the deadline for complying with the CPN, panic set in, and my wife and children packed his stuff up and moved it into our garden, leaving a note to say he could pick up his belongings from our house.

When I saw him briefly the other day and explained the situation, he said he understood, would pick his stuff up, and didn’t want to get us into any trouble!’