Travellers' High Court bid to lift order banning them from living on Fenland field fails
TWO travellers who moved on to an unauthorised site in breach of a court order today failed in a High Court bid to get the banning orders lifted. Julie Ann Smith and Lisa Mary Ingram moved on to the site at Primrose Farm, Small Lode, Upwell, the day after
TWO travellers who moved on to an unauthorised site in breach of a court order today failed in a High Court bid to get the banning orders lifted.
Julie Ann Smith and Lisa Mary Ingram moved on to the site at Primrose Farm, Small Lode, Upwell, the day after West Norfolk Council was granted an injunction banning travellers from using the site.
But one of the country's senior judges, Mr Justice Cooke, dismissed Smith and Ingram's challenge, saying that he saw "no realistic prospect of the applicants obtaining planning permission".
The council was granted the injunction on September 4 and the Judge said on that day there were no caravans, mobile homes or people there. Copies of the order were displayed on-site.
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However, the Judge said that the following day Smith and Ingram moved a caravan on to the land and by September 7, when the council visited the site, there were three touring caravans and a movable home on it.
The Judge said that the women were told of the court order and that they should leave the land because they were in breach of it.
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Further visits on September 17 and September 24 revealed that they had not left and on September 24 the council began committal proceedings against the women for breaching the order.
However, earlier this month the women applied for planning permission for residential use of the land and on October 8, the day before committal proceedings were set to be heard, they applied to the High Court for the ban to be lifted.
Ruling that the injunction should remain in place, the Judge said he gave "due weight to the fact that the injunction was obtained before the defendants moved onto the land in order to avoid this very situation, the fact that the defendants were aware that they were acting in breach of planning conditions and in breach of the order when moving on to the land and their continuing breach thereafter".
He said: "When the existence of alternative accommodation and the lack of realistic prospects on the planning application are taken into account, the result seems to me inevitable, notwithstanding the limited personal circumstances upon which the defendants rely.
"For these reasons the application to vary or discharge the injunction is refused and the injunction will continue.