Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

Gypsy and Traveller Cases

Stevens -v- SSCLG

Stevens -v- SSCLG & Guildford Borough Council [2013] EWCH 792 (Admin) 10 April 2013

In this case Mr Justice Hickinbottom held that a planning inspector had complied with the requirement laid down by Article3(1) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)  and Article 8 of the Convention when dismissing an appeal against a local authority’s decision to refuse to grant temporary planning permission for a Gypsy site in the Green Belt.

Collins -v- SSCLG

Collins -v- Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Flyde Borough Council [2013] EWCA Civ 1193

The appellant in this case, an Irish Traveller, appealed under sections 288 & 289 of the Town and Country Planning Act (T&CPA) 1990 against a planning inspector’s refusal of planning permission for a site near Blackpool. The planning inspector’s refusal had been upheld by the SSCLG. The appeals were dismissed by Pelling J. The appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

On the site were 78 Travellers, including 39 children. One of the central issues in the case was the question of ‘the best interests of the children.’

Moore -v- SSCLG

Moore v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & London Borough of Bromley [2013] EWCA Civ 1194, 9 October 2013

This case concerns a planning appeal in the Court of Appeal (CoA).

The Claimant below (the respondent to this appeal), Charmaine Moore, is a single parent who owns the site she lives on. She lives there in a mobile home with her three children, aged 14, 13 and 7.  She and her family are Romani Gypsies.

Before she moved to the appeal site in July 2010, the Claimant and her children had lived for some 12 years in a caravan situated on the front drive of a rented Housing Association property at Orpington.  The house was used only as a day room and the family always slept in the caravan.  The Claimant had “an aversion to living in bricks and mortar”.

British Waterways Board -v- Ward

British Waterways Board -v- Ward Bristol County Court, 2 December 2012 HHJ Denyer

Mr Ward is a boatdweller who was resorting to the Kennet & Avon Canal. He failed to pay his licence by 31 January 2010 and the British Waterways Board (BWB) sought payment of the licence plus a late payment charge. On Mr Ward’s continued failure to pay, they then took action against him under section 8 of the British Waterways Act 1983 to seek removal of the boat from the waterways under their control.

Moore -v- British Waterways Board

Moore – v – British Waterways Board [2013] EWCA Civ 73, 7th February 2013

Mr Moore owned several vessels (including one which he occupied as his home) moored long term on the tidal part of the Grand Union Canal, adjacent to his riparian land (i.e. the owner of land next to a river bank).  BWB gave notice that the vessels were moored “without lawful authority” and required that Mr Moore remove them.

Knowles -v- SSWP

R (Knowles) – v – The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2013] EWHC 19 (Admin), 17th January 2013.

The two Claimants were Romani Gypsies who moved from a local authority site due to anti-social behaviour by other residents.  They moved on to a private caravan site.  Where a landlord is a private landlord, the rent allowance for housing benefit purposes is always referred to a Rent Officer for determination.  In this case the Local Reference Rent sent by the Rent Officer was much less than the contractual rent that the Claimants had to pay.