- Planning enforcement—injunctions—committal for contempt of court (Anderson v Basildon District Council)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Planning analysis: This was a planning enforcement case concerning members of the Gypsy community who had moved onto land near Wickford in Essex in breach of planning control; an injunction had been sought and obtained requiring them to leave the land. They did not, and in fact undertook further development of the land in the meantime. They were committed for breaches of those orders, and in mitigation they sought to rely on the fact that the national lockdown as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) meant they could not comply. This was rejected, and they were sentenced to suspended sentences of between four and eight months, suspended on condition that they leave the land. The defendants appealed against those sentences to the Court of Appeal, which dismissed the appeals in trenchant terms—the lockdown did not prevent them from complying, and the sentences were appropriate. Written by Josef Cannon, barrister at Cornerstone Barristers.
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