Date: Wed 08 Jun 2022

Injunction to stop unauthorised Gatwick parking at Oxted site

On Tuesday 7 June, the High Court of Justice issued an interim injunction against Best Holdings (UK) Limited, Kevin Vardet and persons unknown, to stop unauthorised Gatwick airport parking on land at School Plantation, Barrow Green Road, Oxted.

On 13 April Tandridge District Council served a Temporary Stop Notice against the unlawful parking at this site, which was not complied with.

The Council applied to the High Court for an interim injunction, which requires this activity to stop immediately. An interim injunction has now been granted and will be reconsidered before a judge at 10.30am on 13 June 2022.

The injunction states the defendants must not:

Take or allow any further bookings for cars to be parked on the land, as part of a commercial car parking operation, including airport parking.
Bring any hardcore or other materials onto the land to create hard surfaces.
Clear any woodland in preparation for development, without planning permission from the Council.

Existing bookings made before the injunction took effect can go ahead.

The site is in the Green Belt and a substantial part of it is woodland. The use of the land for airport user vehicle parking is considered inappropriate development within the Green Belt and is be allowed, except in very special circumstances. No such very special circumstances have been identified by the landowner or parking operator.

Policies in the development plan aim to protect the district’s countryside from encroachment by development, such as this unauthorised parking use, as well as to protect priority wildlife habitats, one of which is the mixed deciduous woodland found on this site.

There are two consents (certificates of lawfulness) on the land:

One is for the use of a small area of concrete hardstanding for the storage of containers (a B8 storage or distribution use), which could involve temporary parking of vehicles which support that storage use.
The second is for the use of a pre-existing track between the concrete hardstanding and the public highway by vehicles which support the B8 use.

Vehicle parking as a primary use of land, is not a B8 use.

Copies of the injunction have been posted at the site.