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Council secures court order to remove caravans from green belt site

Words: Laura Edgar
Caravan in a field (not the actual site) / iStock-172905532

The High Court has granted Cheshire East Council an order that means several caravans must be removed from a green belt site in the borough.

This ruling follows the implementation of an interim order issued in August 2020 that prevents the siting of more caravans on a privately owned field off Broadoak Lane in Mobberley.

The order also prohibited the construction of a hardstanding, importing materials and erection of buildings and other structures without planning permission. However, additional caravans were brought onto site and works were carried out, breaching the injunction.

In response, the council filed contempt of court proceedings against several people involved in the breaches, including 10 allegations against Michael Maloney. He is currently detained in HM Prison Altcourse for unrelated matters.

After a three-day trial, which Maloney attended via video link, Manchester's High Court granted in principle a final injunction restraining further development on-site and limiting the number of caravans to eight, pending the outcome of a planning appeal.

Justice Turner QC said Maloney’s evidence in defence of the allegations of contempt was “unsatisfactory in several respects".

Contractors W Doherty and Sons, Total Plant Hire, Paul Rennie and Adrian Draper also admitted to contempt of court and agreed to contributing towards the council’s costs.

Toni Fox, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for planning, said: “I am extremely pleased with the outcome of the trial and the decisive way the judge has reached his verdict on both the contempt of court, but also his conclusion to grant the final injunction.”

“Council officers responded quickly to local residents’ concerns in August by securing the injunction. Since then, officers have worked tirelessly to prepare the legal case against the defendants, which has now been rewarded. It also provides some degree of comfort for local residents that the legal process cannot just be ignored.”

The Broadoak Lane site is subject to separate planning enforcement action. An appeal hearing will be set by the Planning Inspectorate.  

Image credit | iStock