Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

The definition of Gypsy and Traveller

Lisa Smith -v- The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Others [2021] EWHC 1650 (Admin) 17 June 2021

The Government’s planning policy for Gypsy and Traveller caravan sites is contained in Planning policy for traveller sites (PPTS). Applicants who are covered by this policy benefit from a number of advantages, including a somewhat more relaxed approach to rural development. In the original version of PPTS, published in 2012, the policy was stated to apply to:

The Criminalisation of Trespass

Police, Crime,  Sentencing and Courts Act

In November 2019, the Home Office launched a consultation entitled ‘Strengthening police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments’. This sought views on ‘broadening the existing categories of criminal trespass’. On 8 March 2021, the Government produced its response to that consultation, in which it indicated the intention to introduce a new criminal offence relating to trespass. The new offence was contained in Part 4 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (PCSCB) which received its first reading the next day. The Act received the Royal Assent on 28 April 2022.

Wide Injunctions

LB Barking & Dagenham and others v Persons Unknown and others [2022] EWCA Civ 13, 13 January 2022.

Over the last 6 years, some 38 councils in England have obtained what have become known as ‘borough-wide’ injunctions prohibiting ‘persons unknown’ from camping on numerous sites and large swathes of public land within the boundaries of each local authority. Such injunctions have a disproportionate effect on nomadic Gypsies and Travellers, particularly given the long-standing shortage of lawful sites for them to camp on.

Adverse Possession

Milton Keynes Council v Nathan Wilsher and Persons Unknown [2022] EWHC 578 (QB), 23 March 2022.

The Claimant was the registered proprietor of Two Mile Ash Farm. The dispute concerned three fields ( ‘the Land’) that formed part of the land. The Claimant took action against the First Defendant as a trespasser. The First Defendant defended the action on the basis of adverse possession.

The relevant provisions of the Land Registration Act 2002 came into force on 13 October 2003. The First Defendant accepted that he could not satisfy the requirements of the 2002 Act so as to obtain registration on the basis of adverse possession since October 2003. However Mr Justice Eyre accepted on the evidence that the First Defendant and his father before him had been in adverse possession of the Land by grazing horses and other livestock for a period of at least 12 years before 13 October 2003.

Thanks to Tim Jones of No 5 Chambers, who acted for Mr Wilsher, for bringing this case to our attention.