Show People

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    Many of Glasgow’s Showpeople community have settled on permanent sites around the city. These arrangements have been in place for many years. Now the HB department are withdrawing HB entitlement from those sites which do not have planning permission. The number of sites without planning permission is potentially great which causes concern. This recent trend is incongruous with the Council’s attempts at addressing Showpeople community issues within Glasgow. Is there any way that Showpeople can obtain HB in situations where planning permission has been refused as a result of local objections?


    Tom 👿


    I think the HB department are acting outside their remit. Issues of planning permission etc have no bearing on HB entitlement. This is supported by several Commisioners decisons. For example Mr Commissioner Jacobs wrote at para 16 of CH/0926/2004

    “16. Some issues were raised relating to planning permission, housing lists, and the availability of accommodation. Those factors cannot affect the nature of the arrangement between the claimant and his father as landlord and tenant, either individually or collectively”

    He also wrote at paras 30-31 of CH/0318/2005

    “30. The tribunal’s reasons raise the issue of lawfulness. This issue arose at various points in the argument. Examples were given of circumstances in which claimants were not lawfully occupying their accommodation. And both Mr Kenny and Ms Davies argued that the claimant’s use of the canal through the local authority’s area was in breach of his licence. However, when pressed on the point Mr Kenny refrained from putting his argument on the ground that lawfulness of occupation was decisive. In her final written submissions, Ms Davies was not so reticent.
    31. I reject the argument that only lawful residence is within the housing benefit scheme. Regulation 10 expressly provides that housing benefit is payable in respect of what are in effect damages for trespass. The housing benefit scheme expressly accepts the possibility that the claimant’s presence in the accommodation may not be lawful. I therefore reject any argument in so far as it is based on the fact that the claimant was not entitled to be where he was. ”

    What is more, withdrawal of HB can only be done by way of revison or supersession. The Council must show that there are grounds in terms of the D&A Regulations and I dont think that there are any such grounds for the Council to proceed.

    Julian Hobson

    I agree with stainsby but would add the following qualification.

    Whilst mesne profits (or violent profits in scotaland) might be paid to a landlord rather than payments due to any other liability in trespass cases. In cases where the landlord expressly states that there is no liability to pay anything, no HB would be payable. It is odd for a landlord to waive there right to receive a payment but it does happen, that might, if the illegal sites are LA land, explain the decision.

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