Jack Smyth obtains injunction for council against landowner

The case concerns an area of land in the village of Kirtling, near Newmarket. The owner, Linda Tate (also known as Linda Watson), was unsuccessful in her attempt to obtain planning permission to live on the land and operate a stable business there. Dissatisfied by the approach of East Cambridgeshire District Council (the local planning authority) and the lack of support from local villagers she repeatedly threatened to emigrate and give the land to gypsies to “ruin the village”. These threats were not only made to Council officers, but also to the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and the Cambridge News.

These threats did not seem idle when she invited local members of the gypsy traveller community to visit the land last week. If an unauthorised gypsy site were to be established on the land, this would constitute a significant breach of planning control.

In response, Jack Smyth was instructed by the Council to seek an ex part injunction against her to prevent the anticipated breach of planning control. The matter was brought to the High Court sitting in Birmingham at short notice on 12 September 2017. The Judge granted the injunction on the basis that it was just and proportionate to afford protection to the land given the numerous threats made by Ms Tate.