On Thursday 23 February 2023, Deputy District Judge Plant, at Canterbury County Court ruled that a mobile home unit that was installed illegally in Westgate-on-Sea must be removed. The Defendant was ordered to pay Thanet District Council’s costs of £4,333.26.
In May 2022, a mobile home unit was placed on land, known as ‘The Gardens’, next to Westgate Pavilion. The defendant, Sheena Daniels, of Westgate-on-Sea, claimed to have purchased the land and that she would provide proof of ownership. In September 2022 Thanet District Council applied for an Injunction to remove the mobile home unit and the case was heard at Canterbury County Court last week.
The court initially ordered that both parties prepare for trial which would have taken place in October or November 2023. The council then made a successful application for default and summary judgement (a fast track process that obtains a judgement without a trial) for the injunction. The Defendant’s claim that they had legally purchased the land on which the caravan had been placed was dismissed by the court and the judge ruled in favour of the council.
The court ordered the Defendant to pay the council’s costs of £4,333.26 and to have the caravan removed within 56 days of the hearing – by Thursday 20 April 2023. The council will be permitted to reapply for its removal if it is still there after this date.
Cllr Ash Ashbee, Leader of Thanet District Council said:
“I’m very pleased with the outcome of this case. While taking people to court is a last resort, as a council we will prosecute if people are breaking the law. The mobile home was a blot on the landscape and we were confident that the defendant had no right to put it there.
“The fact that the judge decided to award us over £4,000 in costs means that the council and local residents will not be out of pocket. This is a good result. We’ll be keeping a close eye on whether the mobile home is indeed moved within the court mandated time frame, and we won’t hesitate to pursue a follow up case if not.”