Vestas Protest: Judge Awards Possession Order
Tuesday, 24th November, 2009 at 2:37 pm, Isle of Wight
As we broke earlier the Crown Court Judge rules in favour of landlord.
As we reported yesterday, papers for a possession order were last week served on ‘persons unknown’ occupying what has become fondly known as ‘the magic roundabout’, aka the roundabout outside the Vestas plant, St Cross Business Park in Newport.
Protesters against the job losses at Vestas have been occupying the roundabout since 22 July this year.
During the occupation of the factory in July, the protestors tell us that police issued a Section 14 Order, designating the roundabout as the protest site. We understand that this was to ensure people were not obstructing the road or camped immediately next to the fencing surrounding Vestas plant.
Possession order granted
Today in court, the judge declared that he was satisfied with the evidence of ownership of the land, by MJH Developments, and that the order had been served correctly with at least two days clear notice.
Mr Williams, acting on behalf of the claimant requested that not just the roundabout be included in the possession order, but eight other designated areas in the business park too.
This move was intended to prevent the protestors decamping to another part of the business park after vacating the roundabout.
Marina Pepper, speaking on behalf of ‘persons unknown’
on the roundabout, requested that the case be adjourned, stating that as they had only received the service papers on Thursday afternoon they required more time to prepare their legal defence.
She said that despite great efforts, they had been unable to find a solicitor on the Island able to represent them through legal aid in the short amount of time.
Ms Pepper continued that those occupying the roundabout believed this to be a vexatious application, funded and being driven by Vestas.
She questioned why, after four months with no concerns or objections, the landlord was now seeking a possession order without speaking directly to those occupying the roundabout.
Ms Pepper went on to say that the protest against Vestas would continue until the wind turbine company pay the £45,000 redundancy money that those who had occupied the factory earlier in the year.
Extension of eviction period
The judge stated that ordinarily the possession order would be instigated forthwith, but given that protestors had said they would leave peacefully, ensuring the roundabout was returned to the same state as it was in before the occupation, that he’
d allow the protestors to enter discussions, out of court, with the landlord as to when they would leave.
He hoped that this arrangement would ensure that a return to the court for an eviction notice would not be necessary.
The fight continues
Protestors told us afterwards that they were disappointed with the decision and would be entering negotiations with the landlord.
They made it very clear that their fight to win the redundancy money for those who occupied the factory earlier in the year would continue.
Read more here.