A caravan owner appealed against an enforcement notice on the basis that no planning permission was required because the parking of caravans was the purpose for which the land had been last used.
Held: Factually that was correct. Prima facie it afforded a statutory defence. But the user amounted to a criminal or quasi criminal offence and, therefore, it could not be relied upon. It is plain on principle that a plaintiff could not acquire any legal right or easement by the illegal user to which she was putting the land. Salmon LJ said: ‘It seems to me plain on principle that Mrs James could not acquire any legal right by the illegal use to which she was putting the land.’
 1 WLR 1,  CLY 3002
England and Wales
Cited – Neaverson v Peterborough Rural District Council ChD 1902
The 1812 Act provided for the draining, enclosing and improving of a fen which was common land. Under the Act the grass growing on various roadways was vested in the surveyor of highways, who had power to let it for the pasturage of ‘sound and . .
Followed – Hanning and Others v Top Deck Travel Group Ltd CA 9-Jun-1993
The owner of a common appealed a finding that the neighbouring land owner had acquired by prescription a right of way across the common to use a track for commercial vehicles (buses) to get to the property (the bus depot).
Held: An easement . .
Cited – Tinsley v Milligan CA 1992
The court considered the defence of illegal user to a claim to have established an easement by prescription: ‘These authorities seem to me to establish that when applying the ‘ex turpi causa’ maxim in a case in which a defence of illegality has been . .
Cited – Bakewell Management Limited v Brandwood and others HL 1-Apr-2004
Houses were built next to a common. Over many years the owners had driven over the common. The landowners appealed a decision that they could not acquire a right of way by prescription over the common because such use had been unlawful as a criminal . .
Cited – Smith, Regina (on the Application of) v The Land Registry (Peterborough Office) Admn 13-Feb-2009
The applicant sought judicial review of the cancellation of his application for first registration of land by adverse possession. The application had been rejected because a public right of way existed through it, and the claimant had not shown the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 28 April 2022; Ref: scu.179841