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R (Casey) v Crawley BC [2006] EWHC 301 (Admin)

A local authority had taken into account all material considerations and had not acted perversely, or Wednesbury unreasonably, in reaching a decision to issue possession proceedings against travellers who had encamped on land in such a way as to cause a nuisance to others. The absence of an alternative site did not bar a local authority from obtaining possession against a trespasser on an unauthorised site where its decision to do so was otherwise reasonable.

31 March 2006

C applied for judicial review of the decision of the defendant local authority (D) to issue possession proceedings in respect of two areas of land. C were Irish travellers. They had encamped in two unauthorised places in D’s area. One encampment was on the grass verge and pavement adjoining a narrow road leading to a housing estate. The other was on a grass verge at, and on the concreted access way to, a car park adjoining playing fields. Owing to the locations of the encampments, D concluded that both sites were entirely unsuitable even for a short period of occupation and issued possession proceedings. C claimed to have been moved on some 30 to 40 times per year. There were no authorised sites in the area, although D maintained that it was investigating the possibility of identifying and constructing such sites. D had accepted its duty to C under the homelessness legislation. C’s position was that they would not accept an offer of “bricks and mortar” accommodation, even on...

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