A judge in London's High Court has opened the way for the eviction of scores of travellers from a wooded picnic sit...
A judge in London's High Court has opened the way for the eviction of scores of travellers from a wooded picnic site set in an area of outstanding natural beauty near Bath. Bath City Council claimed those encamped at Free Fields, Rainbow Woods, were not genuine gypsies protected by law but 'drop-out, new age travellers'.
It was feared that those already there would summon dozens of others for a free festival. Two of those living on the site had sought judicial review of the council's decision to seek their eviction from the site and to padlock and guard the access to it. But Mr Justice Latham today dismissed their case, opening the way for the council to seek a repossession order.
He did so despite finding Avon CC in 'prima facie breach' of its duty under the 1968 Caravan Sites Act to provide adequate numbers of sites to those of 'nomadic habit of life resorting to or residing in' its area. It was neither perverse nor irrational of the City Council to balance the needs of the local community against those of the travellers, he told the court. None of the travellers were in court to hear their application for Judicial Review dismissed.