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Case details

Wolverhampton City Council and others (Respondents) v London Gypsies and Travellers and others (Appellants)

Case ID: 2022/0046

Case summary


Can the Court grant final injunctions that prevent persons, who are unknown and unidentified as at the date of the order, from occupying and trespassing on land?


Since 2015 a number of local authorities have sought interim and then final injunctions against unidentified and unknown persons who may in the future set up unauthorised encampments on local authority land (so-called “Newcomers”). The persons concerned fall mainly into three categories, who would describe themselves as Romani Gypsies, Irish Travellers and New Travellers.

In the present appeal the Appellants challenge an injunction obtained in October 2018 by Wolverhampton County Council against “persons unknown” (“the Injunction Order”). They do so as a test case as the same issue arises in relation to a number of other local authorities who have obtained similar orders.

The High Court determined that final injunctions could not apply against newcomers who were not parties to the proceedings at the date that the injunction was ordered. It therefore discharged the Injunction Order. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal brought by Wolverhampton City Council and other local authorities and reinstated the Injunction Order.

Judgment appealed



(1) London Gypsies and Travellers

(2) Friends, Families and Travellers

(3) Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group


(1) Wolverhampton City Council

(2) Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

(3) London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

(4) Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council

(5) London Borough of Redbridge

(6) London Borough of Havering

(7) Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council

(8) Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council

(9) Test Valley Borough Council and Hampshire County Council

(10) Thurrock Council

[(11) Persons unknown]


(1) Friends of the Earth

(2) Liberty

(3) High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd

(4) Secretary of State for Transport



Lord Reed, Lord Hodge, Lord Lloyd–Jones, Lord Briggs, Lord Kitchin

Hearing start date

8 February 2023

Hearing finish date

9 February 2023