Hydraulic fracturing site eviction
This was a hydraulic fracturing (often referred to as fracking by the media) test site that the client was investigating, to see what potential there was for development and production on the site. We initially worked with the client directly and then with the local council after the protest moved onto public land.
Environmental protesters had moved in and built a wooden tower around the access point to the testing area. They had been asked to remove it but had not done so, therefore the company asked the National Eviction Team to remove them.
Removal from the fracking site
The site was situated close to a busy road so, in order to ensure the safety of both the public and protesters, as well as the client's personnel. We worked in close partnership with the police, local authority and the client's site management.
Our first task was to remove the protesters from the land. We then dismantled the protest site and remained on site for a month to prevent re-entry, as they were establishing an encampment on the grass verge next to the public highway which was not covered by the original writ of possession.
Working with the council
With the roadside protest site now well established, some four months after our initial eviction, we were requested by the council to remove the protestors, dismantle the encampment and restore the verge to its original state.
Again, working with the police they initially asked the protestors to leave and when they refused we took over and began removing and clearing the site.
The police gave them some time to protest and followed that with their five-stage warning process, which they go through before they make any arrests if the protesters haven’t moved on as per the warnings. But they refused to leave.
This had now become the council’s problem rather than the client's and four months after the initial eviction, the council asked us to come back to remove the protesters from the verge.
With the scale of the task ahead, we commenced at 6am and firstly removed all the protestors.
We could then focus on the dismantling of the wooden structures and all detritus left on site. As the site was on a fast country lane, the police decided that it was in the public's health and safety interest to close the road.
This allowed us to bring on a JCB and waste removal lorries to ensure the verges were returned to their original state by 9pm the very same day. The road was re-opened and everyone was delighted with the successful outcome.