A Planning Inspector granted Mr Nicholls planning permission for a Travellers’ site. The local authority challenged this decision on the basis that the Inspector had misinterpreted the development plan and had failed to provide sufficient reasons for her decision. Timothy Mould QC (sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court) dismissed the appeal. If the local authority’s interpretation of their own policy had been allowed it would have meant that no Gypsy or Traveller site could ever have been given permission in the countryside. Their appeal against the costs award against them was also dismissed. See: https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2021/651.html
CRT have recently carried out a consultation on new terms and conditions for their licences. https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/national-consultations
National Bargee Travellers Association are very concerned both about the consultation process itself and about some of the proposed new terms and conditions. They are looking for boat dwellers who would be interested in potentially bringing a legal challenge. If you are interested in bringing such a challenge please phone us on our advice line which is 0121 685 8677 Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm.
Legal Briefing on Proposals to Criminalise Trespass
By The Community Law Partnership
Thanks to Marc Willers QC and Tessa Buchanan of Garden Court Chambers and to Abbie Kirkby of Friends, Families and Travellers for their comments on this paper.
The Travellers Advice Team at Community Law Partnership are very interested in hearing from any Gypsies and Travellers who may be adversely affected by the proposed new criminal offence. We would encourage people to phone us on our Advice Line which is 0121 685 8677 Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm.
The Moving for Change Project has funded an excellent report called Local authority approaches to roadside camps in a time of COVID-19. The report has been researched and written by Adrian Jones of the National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups and was published in February 2021.
CLP were commissioned by Friends, Families and Travellers to produce a report (funded by the Baring Foundation) into the situation of roadside Gypsies and Travellers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report centres on law and guidance as it applies to unauthorised encampments, evictions and service provision.
See the report here: https://www.gypsy-traveller.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Legal-briefing-22.2.2021.pdf
For the webinar delivered on this matter on 27 October 2020 see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk35x0qvIas&feature=youtu.be
R(Nur & Abdulahi) v Birmingham City Council EWHC 3526 (Admin)
Mrs Nur lived with her three adult daughters in private rented accommodation. Her daughter, Zakiya suffers from cerebral palsy and has learning difficulties.
London Borough of Enfield v Persons Unknown  EWHC 2717 (QB)
Ever since 2015 when Harlow Council obtained a wide injunction against ‘persons unknown’ camping on a large number of parcels of land, Gypsies, Travellers and their supporters have been concerned at the slow but sure spread of these injunctions. If every local authority in England obtained such an injunction where would Gypsies and Travellers who have no place to stop (due to the failure of the very same local authorities to provide pitches, both permanent and transit), go? Into the sea?
Mr R was evicted from his “move on” accommodation which was never going to be his forever home. Solihull found that he was evicted due to his behaviour and was therefore intentionally homeless. The decision was upheld on review.
The Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards (the ‘LALYs’) organised by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group awards took place on the evening of 7th July 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s awards took place remotely via YouTube. It was wonderful and rather awe inspiring to hear about the incredible work of so many committed legal aid practitioners working around the UK. CLP would like to congratulate all nominees and winners in the various categories.