Basildon BC v Tidd [2017] EWHC 1849 and [2016] EWHC 3168

Enforcement of negative requirements in a s187B injunction (that no further caravans be brought to a site) against persons unknown. In August 2016 gypsy caravans suddenly appeared on a Green Belt site.  The local planning authority secured a negative injunction against the occupiers of the site, members of the Tidd family, and persons unknown, prohibiting the stationing of any further caravans.  The Council served an enforcement notice and one of the occupiers, a Mr Frank Tidd, appealed against this.  In October 2016 the local planning authority failed in its attempt to have the injunction varied so as to include a positive requirement that the existing caravans should be removed ([2016] EWHC 3168).   The site was then sold, the Tidds departed, taking their caravans with them, and Mr Tidd withdrew his appeal against the enforcement notice.  The new owners moved their own caravans onto the site and applied for planning permission to remain on the site.  The local planning authority sought to commit them for contempt (they kept their caravans on the site after becoming aware of the injunction) and declined to determine the application for planning permission, relying on s70C.  In June 2017 Singh J varied the injunction (prospectively) to allow the new caravans to remain ([2017] EWHC 1849).  He said that the new owners had engaged with the planning system and noted that they intended to challenge the authority’s decision under s70C by way of judicial review.  If a judicial review was successful, the application might be entertained and planning permission to allow the new caravans to remain on the site eventually granted, possibly on appeal.  In fact permission for the judicial review was refused on the papers, at an oral hearing and by the Court of Appeal.  In spring 2018 the new owners left the site, taking most of their caravans with them.  The Council secured a final order in July 2018 requiring the removal of all remaining caravans and authorising the Council to remove any which remained after 21 August 2018. Richard Langham appeared for the local planning authority at all but the first hearing.

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