Injunction found justified to prevent breach of control

An interim injunction supporting Buckinghamshire County Council’s attempts to restrict unauthorised development associated with a potential extension to a caravan park has won High Court endorsement.

The council had issued a temporary stop notice seeking to prevent construction of a gravel track linking an existing caravan park to an adjoining field. A subsequent site visit confirmed that further work was being undertaken, including laying of asphalt. The defendant explained to the council that he needed additional accommodation to house his family and the intention was to secure permission for an extension to the caravan park, of which the track would form a part.

Mrs Justice Eady noted that the defendant was not represented in the proceedings brought by the council but was aware of the enforcement action through his planning adviser. In her opinion, the defendant would not be prejudiced if the court issued an interim injunction, since the council acknowledged that any order granted should not prevent the defendant from taking legal advice and applying to vary or discharge its terms.

The judge agreed that breach of planning control is a serious matter and the council was acting as custodian of the public interest. The temporary stop notice had not prevented further breaches of control and these could continue unless an injunction was issued, she concluded. Without such action, she saw a risk that the land would be converted into an unauthorised caravan park that would cause further harm to the countryside. It was in the public interest to grant the council’s request, she held.

Buckinghamshire County Council v Sweeney and Persons Unknown

Date: 11 June 2020

Ref: [2020] EWHC 1811

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