A council has pledged to take a “compassionate approach” to evicting a man from public land after its lawyer asked him for £2,000 in legal costs at court.

Leo Fieran, 55, lost a legal battle with Camden Council at Central London County Court last Friday (January 26).

Representing himself, he had hoped to launch an appeal against an order affirming the council’s rights over the land at the end of Camley Street near St Pancras station, claiming that he had been living at the site continuously since 2007.

Mr Fieran handed in 500 pages of written submissions, but the judge ruled that an appeal against the order given in 2022 had “no real prospect” of success.

The Camley Street area has been earmarked for development by the council, with 350 new homes and 200,000 square feet of workspace planned.

In court, the council’s lawyer asked that Mr Fieran be ordered to pay £2,000 in costs for her preparation and attendance at court.

Mr Fieran said that he had no means to pay the fee, adding: “I am homeless”.

The judge ultimately declined to make the order, and Camden Council has since defended the request as a procedural formality.

The authority said that it had no intention of actually pursuing costs against Mr Fieran.

Mr Fieran said in court that over the years he had kept the plot of land – which he describes as his home – tidy, claiming he had received “encouragements” from the council to do so.

Ham & High: Leo has fought to remain on land at the end of Camley StreetLeo has fought to remain on land at the end of Camley Street (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

He said that he had previously seen “junkies with syringes” and “prostitution” in the area.

Speaking over the weekend about the attempt to order costs at court, Mr Fieran said: "Camden is trying to ruin me, to destroy me, to humiliate me, to disregard me as a human being and this is a payback for the amount of work I've done for the community for many years.

“This is the thank you I get from Camden."

A Camden Council spokesperson said: “We are taking a compassionate approach to help and support Mr Fieran to end his occupation of this public land.

“This land is needed to build much-needed council and affordable housing for hundreds of residents in this area of Camley Street.

 “We are offering Mr Fieran housing support and any other support that we can provide.

“We want to offer him a route away from living on the street and we will continue to try to work with him to do this, but this will require Mr Fieran to engage and take up the support available.”