Background and context  


In April 2007, the council obtained a High Court injunction (a court order) against ‘persons unknown’ on land at Kayte Lane due to an anticipated breach of planning control. The injunction prohibited the land from being occupied or developed without the benefit of planning permission. Any person who breaches an injunction may be held to be in contempt of court.


In August 2015, part of the site was occupied and developed unlawfully and in breach of the injunction order. The council commenced legal proceedings against those responsible and they were found to be in contempt of court. The court imposed suspended custodial sentences.


In December 2017, a planning appeal against the council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the change of use of part of the land to use for stationing of caravans for residential occupation by a gypsy-traveller family, was allowed. Planning permission was granted subject to a condition requiring the use to cease on 18 December 2020, however the use continued.


A further planning application received in October 2019 sought planning permission for the temporary site to be made permanent and for it to be expanded into adjoining land. Planning permission was refused in July 2020 and a planning appeal was dismissed in June 2022.


In July 2022, a further planning application seeking permission to retain the existing site as a residential caravan site for an extended gypsy/traveller family was submitted. On 22 June 2023, the council exercised its statutory power to decline to determine this application on the basis that it is similar to the application dismissed on appeal last year, there being no changes in the material planning circumstances since that time.


The council is now preparing its legal case to enforce the injunction order in respect of the whole site.


1.      What is an injunction?  

An injunction is a court order issued against a person or group of people prohibiting them from doing a specific action or requiring them to do something. (In this particular case, the injunction order was obtained in anticipation of occupation of the site and therefore was obtained against ‘persons unknown’ in order to apply to any future owner/occupier). Breaching an injunction is a contempt of court.

2.      What if a planning application is received?  

If a valid planning application is received, this will be dealt with in accordance with the council’s normal processes including technical and local consultation.

3.      Who leads the case? 

The recent activity on the site is a breach of planning control that will be taken forward by the council’s planning team in liaison with the legal team. The email inbox for the planning compliance team should be used for any updated information that you have. The email address is

4.      Why did the council not stop development as they had advanced notice of the occupation?  

The council is unable to physically prevent occupation or works being undertaken on land. We have no powers to block access to private land or immediately remove occupiers and vehicles. The council took steps the day before the occupation took place to display copies of the injunction order at the site entrance to ensure an awareness of the injunction.

5.      How long will legal proceedings take?  

This will depend on how the proceedings develop. It is anticipated that proceedings will be defended and therefore are likely to be ongoing for several months.

6.      Why is no conventional enforcement action being taken against these breaches?

The council is utilising the High Court Injunction process to address these breaches due to the original injunction order relating to the land parcel. The Injunction Order will ultimately seek to undo all unauthorised development.

7.      Has a planning application been received relating to the new development?

No. Please refer to the response to question 2.

8.      Is action being taken regarding the safety of the access being used?

Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) Highways is aware of the site and we are liaising with them regarding the intensified use of the access, which was for agricultural purposes.

9.      What is being done to address the obstruction to the public footpath?

The GCC Public Rights of Way Officer (PROW) is aware of this development. A recent visit by planning compliance officers observed that access to the footpath was open and it is understood that the site occupants have erected a post and rail fence to demarcate the footpath and avert unintended access on the land.

10.  Why is refuse collection taking place if the occupants are not paying council tax?

As a waste collection authority, the council is subject to separate duties in relation to waste collection. To minimise any further impact on the environment the council has decided to undertake waste collection from the land.

11.  What about utility connections?

Utility connections do not legitimise the unlawful occupation of the site or change its planning status.

Category: Planning