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In the news:- Five found guilty of contempt as High Court hearing into planning breaches concludes

Five found guilty of contempt as High Court hearing into planning breaches concludes
12 April 2017

A two-day hearing into breaches of a High Court injunction on land in Wickford has concluded today (Wednesday, 12 April).

The committal proceedings were brought by Basildon Council after the terms of an injunction obtained by the authority in relation to land at Silva Lodge Kennels, in Hovefields Avenue, were breached.

The order, obtained on 14 October 2016, bans more caravans being brought onto the land other than those that are permitted in the injunction.

Yesterday (Tuesday, 11 April), Mr Justice Kerr dismissed an application by the defendants to vary the order, which means that the current requirements of the injunction remain unchanged.

After hearing further evidence from both Basildon Council and the defendants during the two-day hearing, five of the six defendants have been found guilty of contempt of court.

Mr Justice Kerr has postponed sentencing until 2pm on Friday, 5 May, when all of the defendants will be required to attend court.

The judge stated that he expected the defendants to be fully compliant with the terms of the injunction by 5 May, and that failure to do so could lead to a custodial sentence being immediately imposed.

Cllr Phil Turner, leader of Basildon Council, said: “We are pleased the High Court has stood by its previous judgement and reinforced the validity of the injunction.

“These proceedings have emphasised that High Court injunctions are serious matters and those considering ignoring such orders should not underestimate the legal consequences of doing so.

“Basildon Council remains committed to enforcing planning law in the interests of its residents and will continue to defend its position vigorously within the existing legal framework.

“We would urge all parties to respect the law and comply with the court’s ruling.”