Casebook: Court cases - Commission entitlement to evict travellers endorsed

The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court judgement granting the Forestry Commission the right to evict travellers from a forest in Suffolk after accepting that it did not have a duty to consider the consequences of their removal.

The travellers claimed that they were devoted to environmentally friendly living in the forest and caused no harm. Steps to enforce their departure were endorsed by the High Court in May. Refusing leave to appeal against the lower court's decision, Lord Justice Carnwath held that the commission had no duty to consider the impact of eviction on the travellers and their children, as its general duty was to promote forestry. The implications of the travellers becoming homeless and their children being required to leave local schools were matters for the local housing and education authorities, he ruled.

Kanssen v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Date: 24 October 2004; Ref: C1/2005/1285.

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