Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

Gypsy and Traveller Cases

London Borough of Bromley v Persons Unknown and London Gypsies & Travellers

London Borough of Bromley v Persons Unknown and London Gypsies & Travellers – [2019] EWHC 1675, 17 May 2019

The London Borough of Bromley (LBB) sought a final injunction against ‘persons unknown prohibiting unauthorised occupation and/or deposition of waste’ on 171 parcels of land owned or managed by them. The application for an injunction was clearly targeted wholly or mainly at Gypsies and Travellers. This was in a context where over 30 local authorities throughout England had already obtained such injunctions.

Swale Borough Council v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and Maughan [2018] EWHC 3402 (Admin)

The case involved an application for planning permission by Travellers where a temporary permission was granted by a Planning Inspector.  The Council took one ground of challenge against this decision on the basis that the Inspector had erred in law in that, when referring to “a substantial shortfall”, he failed to determine the amount of the shortfall in the 5 year supply of Traveller sites.

Guildford BC v Cooper & Brazil

This site is in the Green Belt and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  A previous enforcement notice and planning appeal had been dismissed by the Secretary of State in 2014.  Guildford Borough Council (GBC) then declined to determine subsequent planning applications made in 2017 and 2018.  So there was nothing in the pipeline in terms of any outstanding application/appeal when the injunction application was heard earlier this year.

R (Ward & Ors) – v – LB Hillingdon and EHRC (Interveners)

[2019] EWCA Civ 692, 16 April 2019

Ms Ward and Mr McDonagh were Irish Travellers who applied for housing to LB Hillingdon (LBH) and were placed in the lowest band on the waiting list because they had not resided in the borough for 10 years. Mr Gullu was an asylum seeker who was also placed in the lowest band for the same reason. At first instance, Supperstone J held that LBH had indirectly discriminated against Ms Ward and Mr McDonagh but Mostyn J dismissed the calm by Mr Gullu. The Court of Appeal concluded that the 10 year residency requirement amounted to indirect discrimination against all 3 claimants and that LBH had failed to justify that indirect discrimination. However the Court of Appeal did not uphold Supperstone J’s finding that the 10 year residency requirement also amounted to a breach of Children Act 2004 s11.

Rashid v Nasrullah

Rashid v Nasrullah [2018] EWCA Civ 2685

The appellant (F) appealed against an order of the Upper Tribunal, made on the application of the respondent (M) who had subsequently died and was represented by his executor, directing the rectification of the land register so as to restore M’s name as the registered proprietor of certain land.   Until 1989, M had been the registered proprietor of the land in question.  In 1989, F’s father perpetrated a fraud whereby he procured both the transfer of the land to himself and his registration as its proprietor.  F was complicit in the fraud and in 1990 his father gifted the land to him and had him registered as its proprietor.   In 2011, M sought rectification of the register.  F objected arguing that he had been in adverse possession for over 20 years.

FJM – v – The United Kingdom, European Court of Human Rights

FJM – v – The United Kingdom, European Court of Human Rights, application number 76202/16 – 6th November 2018

The applicant is a vulnerable adult with psychiatric and behavioural problems. She had lost two public sector tenancies on account of her behaviour. In May 2005 the applicant’s parents purchased a property with the assistance of a mortgage. They then granted the applicant an assured shorthold tenancy of the property and she claimed housing benefit to pay the rent. The parents fell into arrears with the mortgage repayments and, in August 2008, the finance company exercised its powers under the mortgage to appoint receivers. The mortgage arrears persisted and, in January 2012, the receivers served notice on the applicant under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 which permitted the Court to make an order for possession of a property let under an assured shorthold tenancy if it was satisfied that the landlord had given the tenant at least 2 months’ notice in writing that possession was required. The applicant sought to resist the possession order on the basis of violation of her rights under Article 8 of the European Convention (the right to respect for private, family life and home). The Supreme Court had previously rejected the possibility of such a defence. The ECtHR also rejected this possibility. The ECtHR concluded:-

R (TW, SW and EM) – v – London Borough of Hillingdon and EHRC (intervener) [2018] EWHC 1791 (Admin) 13 July 2018

The London Borough of Hillingdon (LBH) allocates social housing in accordance with an Allocations Policy from 2016.  Under that Policy, applicants for social housing are placed into Bands (A, B, C or D) according to priority for social housing which they have under the policy.  Obviously a person in Band A has a better chance of being allocated housing than a person in Band B and so on.

Borough Wide Injunctions

Over recent years there have been reports of local authorities obtaining wide injunctions against unauthorised encampments. The latest example was Waltham Forest LBC v Persons Unknown where Lang J granted the final injunction on 12 January 2018. As usual, the defendants were not represented. TAT believe this type of injunction is potentially very challengeable on grounds including reasonableness and proportionality. We would be very interested in hearing from anyone adversely affected by such an injunction or any application for an injunction.

Attachments

Total Attachments: 1

borough wide injunctions attach (103 KB)

Public Law Defences to Possession Actions

Davies v Hertfordshire CC [2018] WLR(D) 1411, is not a Traveller case but is a useful reminder that, even where there is no security of tenure, a public law defence can be put forward to a possession action (in this case concerning Children Act 2004 section 11).

See the transcript at: http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2018/379.html&query=(davies)+AND+(v)+AND+(hertfordshire)