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Abandoned Cars

Volume 403: debated on Thursday 10 April 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what powers are available to (a) local authorities and (b) the police to remove cars abandoned on private land or property. [108023]

I have been asked to reply.Local authorities are already under a duty (section 3(1) of the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 to remove a vehicle which is abandoned in their area on any land in the open air or on any other land forming part of a highway.For vehicles abandoned on private land, the local authority enters onto the land using their powers under section 8(1) of the 1978 Act. Using their powers under Regulation 8 of the Removal and Disposal of Vehicles Regulations 1986 they then serve on the landowner or the occupier a 15 day notice requiring them to remove the vehicle. If no representations are received then the local authority can remove the vehicle following the expiry of the 15 day period. Objections to the notice must be made by the landowner or occupier to the Chief Officer at the local authority within the 15 day period and the landowner or occupier must outline their reasons why they consider that the vehicle is not abandoned. If the local authority accepts the representations then the vehicle can remain on the land. If the local authority rejects the representations they will then remove the vehicle.Regulation 4 of the Removal and Disposal of Vehicles Regulations 1986 empowers a police officer to remove vehicles abandoned without lawful authority on any land in the open air.