Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

Flynn -v- SSCLG and Basildon BC

Flynn -v- Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (SSCLG) and Basildon Borough Council [2014] EWHC 390 (Admin), 20 February 2014

Mrs Flynn was one of the Travellers evicted from the Dale Farm site in November 2011. She moved her caravan to an access track leading to Dale Farm. On 24th July 2012, Basildon DC (as they then were) served an Enforcement Notice on Mrs Flynn.

She attempted to appeal that decision but the Planning Inspectorate decided that the appeal was not valid as Mrs Flynn did not, according to them, have the necessary interest in land. The access track was owned by various individuals. The evidence before the Court was that Mrs Flynn might have an implied licence to remain on the track.

Town and Country Planning Act 1990 Section 174 (6) states:-

In this section, ‘relevant occupier’ means a person who –

(a)        on the date on which the enforcement notice is issued occupies the land to which the notice relates by virtue of a licence and

(b)        continues so to occupy the land when the appeal is brought.

The Planning Inspectorate included that this meant that Mrs Flynn had to have either a written or oral licence from the landowner to occupy the land she was on.

Town and Country Planning Act 1990 Section 174, in terms of appeals against Enforcement Notices, states:-

(1)        a person having an interest in the land to which an enforcement notice relates or a relevant occupier may appeal to the Secretary of State against the notice, whether or not a copy of it has been served on him.

Lewis J concluded:-

…it may transpire that Mrs Flynn had an implied licence to occupy and may have a right of appeal in any event. Such a right would be sufficient to satisfy any procedural requirement that might need to exist in relation to the enforcement notice. It is only if the Defendant decides, lawfully, that Mrs Flynn is a trespasser that any questions of compatibility with Article 8 ECHR arises.

See: Flynn -v- SSCLG and Basildon BC Judgment