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London council to take battle over borough-wide injunction and camping on open spaces to Court of Appeal next month

The Court of Appeal will next month (3 December) hear an appeal by Bromley Council over the High Court’s refusal to extend an interim injunction prohibiting camping on 171 open spaces and car parks in the borough.

In May the High Court granted Bromley a more limited injunction preventing people from fly-tipping, depositing substantial amounts of waste, or entering parks and car parks in vehicles for the purposes of waste disposal or fly-tipping.

However, the requirement restraining the occupation of the council’s open spaces by caravans was discharged.

London Gypsies and Travellers (LGT), which maintains that borough-wide injunction orders are a disproportionate and discriminatory response to an accommodation crisis for Gypsies and Travellers, is seeking to raise £8,000 via Crowd Justice ahead of the appeal.

The group said the injunction orders were usually against “persons unknown” and argued that they effectively criminalised the way of life of a whole group of people recognised as ethnic minorities under the Equality Act 2010.

Thirty-seven councils have taken out ‘borough-wide’ injunctions which threaten all Gypsies and Travellers with fines and imprisonment if they camp within their boundaries, LGT said.

The group claimed that “it is not right that while councils are failing to provide sites and stopping places, they are effectively banning Travellers from whole areas”.

It warned that if Bromley wins its appeal, it would have major implications. “More and more councils will apply for and obtain injunctions, and more and more families – particularly children, the elderly and sick – will be affected. There are alternatives.”

The legal team for LGT comprises Marc Willers QC and Tessa Buchanan from Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Chris Johnson from Community Law Partnership.

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