In this case Mrs Justice Sharp was prepared to make an injunction requiring gypsies to leave land they had occupied for about six years, essentially on a summary basis. A negative injunction had been granted in 2007 preventing further occupation of the site. In August 2010 the local planning authority applied for a fresh injunction requiring all the current occupants of the site to leave. The application was heard on 7 September 2010. The defendants contended that it was not appropriate to make such an injunction on an essentially summary basis and that, having submitted only brief witness statements, they should have the opportunity to adduce further evidence, particularly given the approach required of the court in South Bucks v Porter. Mrs Justice Sharp was prepared to make the injunction without receiving further evidence. She was influenced by the following – (i) there had been three unsuccessful appeals in relation to the site, the second of which had specifically considered the plots occupied by the defendants; (ii) there was an extant enforcement notice and the authority was entitled to the assistance of the court in securing compliance with it; and (iii) the authority had identified an alternative site for the defendants, albeit that they were not happy with it.
Richard Langham appeared for Taunton Deane Borough Council.