Lawrences Lane Update - Order Agreed
On Wednesday morning (8 December) West Berkshire Council was granted a continuation of the interim injunction by Margaret Obi (sitting as a Judge of the High Court) preventing any further unauthorised development to remain in place at Lawrences Lane in Thatcham. The injunction states:
- No residential occupation will be permitted, beyond that which was agreed in the previous order (i.e. five plots are occupied).
- No further portable structures etc. can be brought onto the land in breach of planning control.
- No waste / hardcore / similar material can be brought onto the land in breach of planning control.
- No further works can be undertaken at the site in breach of planning controls.
In addition, the Defendants have a duty to carry out the following actions summarised below:
- To file their appeal ("the Appeal") against the Council's decision issued on 19 November 2021 to refuse their application for planning permission (application no: 21/02112/FUL) for the development of land known as "Land on the south west of Lawrences Lane, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG18 3LF".
- To leave the land before 8 April 2022, if they have failed to submit an appeal against the refusal of the planning application by 8 February 2022.
- To cease the residential use and remove their caravans and residential paraphernalia from the land within 2 months of the final determination of an appeal regarding the planning application.
The terms of the new order are also backed up by a penal notice, which means that any breach could amount to a contempt of court, punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or the seizure of assets.
Cllr Richard Somner, Executive Member for Planning, Transport and Countryside at West Berkshire Council, said:
"Following on from the previous injunction set in place since the summer, this order is the next big step to ensure that no further unauthorised planning development will take place on the land at Lawrences Lane. If the defendants are not successful at appeal, it will also secure the termination of residential occupation of the land within 2 months of the closure of the appeal.
"The Council's actions to date have successfully limited the extent and impact of the unauthorised development at the site such as no more day rooms, no more hardstanding's and stopping further caravans on site.
"Although the matter hasn't been concluded, the Council has moved swiftly. The planning appeal process will now guide the next steps, the timescales of which will be informed by the Planning Inspectorate."
The Council will continue to monitor activity at the site with regard to the new requirements set out by the Court.
The Council will await the submission of the appeal against the refused Planning Application on or before 8 February 2022, and will publicise the receipt of that appeal once it has been made, giving guidance on how it will be dealt with and how the community can contribute.
If at any time local residents would like to provide information anonymously about any activity taking place at Lawrences Lane, the first point of contact should be via the planning enforcement team on: Planningenforcement@westberks.gov.uk.
We have also produced ato help provide more background and answer some common questions.