Pop festival opponents win boost to powers

COUNCILS seeking to ban unauthorised pop festivals yesterday had their powers strengthened by the Court of Appeal, which reinstated open-ended injunctions against festivals obtained last year by East Hampshire council and Waverley council in Surrey.

Police had told the authorities that a similar event to the one planned for last August may be held this weekend in the area of the Hampshire, Surrey, and East and West Sussex borders. However, a police spokesman said yesterday that organisers had indicated it had been cancelled.

Last year police were involved in pitched battles with New Age travellers, hippies and ravers when an attempt was made, after the injunctions were obtained, to hold the festival at Romsey, near Southampton.

Yesterday Lord Justice Butler- Sloss, sitting with Lords Justices Mann and Hirst, overturned a judge's decision in June to discharge the East Hampshire and Waverley injunctions.

Sir Peter Pain, sitting as a High Court judge, had ruled that it would be an abuse of the process of the courts to uphold the injunctions, obtained against two alleged event organisers, because the councils had failed to pursue litigation against the two men at a subsequent full hearing.

Later, Roger Tetstall, East Hampshire legal services manager, said: 'We trust that there will now be no festival.'

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