Injunction and committal
Maldon District Council v Hammond
 EWCA Civ 1001
The Appellant had failed to comply with an injunction to remove his mobile homes from the land. The Court had ordered him to be committed to prison for two months suspended on the condition that he comply with all the requirements of the injunction within that period of time.
The Appellant sought to extend the period of suspension before the Court of Appeal due to subsequent events. He claimed that there was no alternative site available for his mobile home to be site. The local authority had undertaken to provide immediate temporary accommodation to him upon his vacating the site. This was not on a mobile home site.
The Appellant argued that the Court below had considered it would not be a problem to resite the mobile home on an alterative site but that this was not possible. The Court held that the judge had been entitled to make the order he did. There was no obligation to provide accommodation to resite the mobile home. The Appellant had not argued the case on the basis that he had gypsy status. The judgement states:
23. I express the view that it remains the position that the appellant's intention is to seek permission to remain on the land in his mobile home. I have referred to the undertaking which the council have given, so that, as far as a roof after his head is concerned and the obvious hardship resulting from the absence of such a roof, his needs are to be met. The point has been made on behalf of the council that they are under no duty to provide a site for the mobile home, either for use as a residence or otherwise, and any statutory status under which the appellant could claim relief as a gypsy is not admitted; and the case has not been argued on his behalf on that basis."
Wychavon District Council v Rafferty
 EWCA Civ 628
This was an expedited hearing before the Court of Appeal from a decision committing the Defendants for breach of an injunction and refusing to vary the terms of the injunction.
The gypsies appealed to the Court of Appeal contending that (i) the judge had erred by following the case of Mid – Bedfordshire DC v Brown  EWCA Civ 1709 which differed factually from this case, (ii) the merits of the planning appeal had substantial merit, and (iii) judge had not given adequate consideration to other matters such as the availability of alternative accommodation. The CA dealing with each of these points in turn rejected both the appeals:
40. I turn then to the merits of the planning appeal. The judge specifically addressed this issue in paragraphs 32 to 39 of his judgment. I have already quoted his conclusion. The appellants' criticism is that by declining to enter into a more detailed examination of the merits, he wrongly fettered his own discretion. They submit, on a number of detailed grounds, that had he done so he would or should have concluded that there was significant merit in the appeal.
51. As the decision of the House of Lords in Porter shows, it is not our function to second guess the outcome of the appeal, and even if it were, we do not have the material on which to do so because of the further and different evidence, to which I have referred,
which is likely to be adduced in due course.
52. The judge assessed the merits of the planning appeal as "not hopeless", but that they did not have "a real prospect" of success. To have any prospect of success on this appeal, the appellants have to establish that the judge's assessment was perverse. It appears to me that it is quite insufficient to suggest that other people might put the chances of success on the scale of certain to win and certain to lose somewhere different on the scale, unless it can be said that the point at which the judge put it was so wrong that no reasonable judge properly directing himself could have reached the conclusion that he did.
53. To my mind the appellants do not begin to satisfy that burden on them. It may well be that different minds will describe the prospects of success in different terms. It cannot be said that the terms employed by the judge were not fairly descriptive of the prospects of success on the appeal as they appeared to him, and that that is sufficient for the purpose of exercising his discretion whether or not to vary the injunction granted by Penry-Davey J.
54. I then turn to the third general head of complaint in the respect of the judgment of
Newman J. It is suggested that he failed to give proper consideration to whether alternative non-roadside accommodation was suitable and/or whether he gave sufficient weight to the obligation of the United Kingdom to foster gypsy life and culture. I do not think there is anything in that point. The judge in paragraphs 31 and 41 specifically considered the alternatives of non-roadside accommodation as well as bricks and mortar accommodation, and he exercised his discretion in the light of each of them.
55. Then it was suggested that Dawn was not bound to accept the offer of alternative accommodation on the Cleve Prior site as it did not include her parents, and that the judge was wrong to find that her refusal was "unjustified" (see paragraph 28). The offer was not ideal, as the judge observed, but it would have provided a more stable alternative to remaining on the lay-by, for which possession was being sought by the highway authority in the local county court. It was only an anticipated decision of the House of Lords which could have given them any defence to that claim, and in any event it went the other way. I can see no ground on which to criticise the judge's conclusion.
56. Then it is suggested that there was and is no proper alternative accommodation for Mr Rafferty and his wife. The judge was not satisfied that this was so. On the information provided to us, his scepticism appears to be justified. It appears that it is the persistent refusal of Mr Rafferty and his wife to complete a second application and/or attend for an assessment of their needs which has prevented the local housing authority from considering their housing needs any further. The judge thought that if they did cooperate accommodation would be provided, and I do not think it can be said that the judge was demonstrably wrong.
57. Then it is said that the judge failed adequately to explain why his order was
proportionate for the purposes of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It was suggested that he failed to follow the structured approach favoured by Sedley LJ in Coates v South Bucks District Council  EWCA Civ 1378 at paragraph 28. In that same case, Lord Phillips (then Master of the Rolls) said this:
New circular - another case
South Bedfordshire District Council v Price
 EWCA Civ 493
This is another Court of Appeal decision on an appeal against committal orders and permission to appeal against the refusal to vary or discharge an injunction restraining breaches of planning control. Again, the CA dismissed the appeals holding that there was no basis on which the judge's refusal to suspend the injunction could be said to be wrong. It would only be right to suspend the committal order pending the result of the planning appeal if there were evidence showing a substantial likelihood that the planning appeal would succeed. The Appellant’s chances of success on the planning appeal had improved from remote by virtue of the new circular 01/06 Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites, but it was impossible to say that they were particularly strong.
Travellers - alternative sites
South Bedfordshire District Council v Price
 EWHC 2031 (QB)
This is another case where the question of the lack of availability of alternative sites for travellers was raised as a defence to the breach of planning control. This case dealt with a breach of an injunction that had been obtained against some travellers. It was argued on their behalf that the fact that the local authority had acknowledged the need for an increase in site for travellers in the area meant that it could not enforce planning against travellers where a court order had been obtained on the basis that the injunction should be suspended until alternative provision had been made.
The Court dismissed this contention stating that it would be rare for a court not to impose a sanction for a prolonged and deliberate breach such as in this case. The judge noted that effectively the submission that there should be no sanction amounted to one that greenbelt control should be unenforceable against travellers until the day was reached where sites were available for all those who wanted them. He noted that there was no authority where it had been held that the widespread failure of local authorities to provide sufficient sites to all travellers who wanted them was a defence to enforcement action. He further noted that although it would be regrettable to sent young mothers to prison the remedy was in their hands to comply with the terms of the injunction.
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