Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006
Kingshill community in Somerset
Frozen motion: children at Kingshill can continue playing, safe from eviction, but must wait for the new environment department to make a decision. Photo: Nick Cobbing.

News and other Busyness

Kingshill Collective Safe For Present

John Gummer decision overturned on technicality

Squall 15, Summer 1997, pg. 14.

A HIGH COURT decision in October has left a community of bender dwellers in Somerset temporarily safe from eviction, but in ‘limbo’.

Judge Michael Rich QC overturned a decision by former environment secretary, John Gummer, to allow the eviction of the Kingshill collective near Glastonbury.

But he did so on a technicality. Although Gummer had taken into account the European Convention on Human Rights, the Collective’s grounds for appeal, he did not specify such a finding in his report.

“The Government were going to appeal, but dropped it,” resident Christine Boal told Squall. ”We’re in limbo and can’t do anything. It’s alright for us, but it hasn’t set a precedent and doesn’t help anyone else.”

The Collective cannot be evicted until the Government appeals. But new Labour’s new super environment ministry may have more pressing matters.

The saga began when the collective of 20 benders bought the land but were refused planning permission to live there by Mendip District Council. (See Squall 12.)

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