Injunction: balance of convenience: travellers

Enfield LBC v Persons Unknown 4 October 2017 unreported

Runnymeade BC v Doig 22 May 2017,unreported

Basildon BC v Tidd, Queen’s Bench Division, 07 June 2017 (unreported)

Basingstoke and Deane BC v Eastwood [2018] EWHC 179 (QB

“47. The DCLG letter dated 31 August 2015 sets out changes to national planning policy to make intentional unauthorised development a material consideration. The letter introduces a planning policy to make intentional unauthorised development a material consideration that would be weighed in the determination of planning applications and appeals. This policy applies to all new planning applications and appeals received from 31 August 2015. In this instance the [Applicant] has clearly carried out intentional unauthorised development, which constitutes a material consideration that weighs against permission being granted and would not be in accordance with the development plan as a whole.” – quote from planning officer’s report – para 21 of judgement

  • 30. In Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council -v- Thompson [2018] EWHC 11 (QB) HHJ Bidder QC considered an application by 10 Gypsy families to vary an injunction obtained pursuant to s.187B, to permit their residential occupation of a site in the countryside. This injunction had been obtainedafter the gypsies had begun works on a site but before they had moved on with their families. An application for planning permission had been made. In refusing the vary the injunction, the Judge held [137]-[150]:

(1) There is an overarching public interest in ensuring that court orders are respected and obeyed.

(2) It was a main purpose of Parliament in creating section 187B of theAct to ensure that the system of local and democratically-based planning grant was effective.

(3) The object of the original injunction was to preserve the status quo pending the determination of the planning process. Those who moved on to the site after the injunction in this case did so in “ conscious defiance of the injunction ”.

(4) The variations sought were, effectively, sufficiently wide to render the original purpose of the injunction nugatory, that purpose being to preserve the status quo at the time of grant, which did not include any residence on the site, pending resolution of grant of permission or appeal.

(5) The flagrancy of the initial planned unauthorised occupation was such that it was, in many ways, more important in this case than in the cases of Brown and Robb to uphold both the authority of the court and to support the fundamental tenets of the planning system.

(7) The hardship to the defendants themselves, more significantly to their families and particularly their children, who had at present no alternative site to go to and would be forced on to the side of the road again, was obvious. However, that was their situation before the injunction was granted.

(8) While the best interests of the children must be a primary consideration they do not trump other considerations and, similarly, while a decision not to vary the injunction may lead to interference with their and their parents’ Article 8 rights, there were other competing interests and the court must assess proportionality.

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