Date set for High Court unauthorised punting injunction hearing

News release from 19 March 2018, 3:19pm

A HIGH COURT hearing on Cambridge City Council’s application for an injunction to ban unauthorised punt businesses from using all Cambridge City Council owned land to access the River Cam will take place in May.

The council is committed to improving the quality of the city centre experience for residents and visitors.

This includes reducing the levels of nuisance related to the activities of city centre unauthorised punt operator businesses, as they seek to attract customers.

The proposed injunction forms part of a series of actions being taken by the council and partners to tackle the unauthorised punt businesses.

A council spokesperson said: "We are pleased to have a date for this High Court hearing which we have applied for after exhausting other options.

"We are hopeful that the High Court will grant the injunction so that we can put a stop to the unauthorised use of council land by commercial punt operators."

The High Court confirmed the May hearing on 16 March, setting out in a written order that it will take place during a three day window from 9 May, for an estimated two days

The council’s riverside land, including land at Garret Hostel Lane, is being used by unauthorised operators. These areas are not authorised punt stations and do not have planning permission or approval from the council or the Cam Conservators for punt operations.

If the High Court grants the injunction, unauthorised use of the council’s land would be prohibited. Anyone breaching the injunction may be guilty of contempt of court and could face a term of imprisonment, a financial penalty, or both.

Confirmation of the hearing date comes after an apparent escalation of the use of Garret Hostel Lane where unauthorised punt businesses have started using a much larger pontoon for embarking and disembarking passengers that is now blocking the slipway.

The council is committed to improving the quality of the city centre experience for residents and visitors.

This includes reducing the levels of nuisance related to the activities of city centre unauthorised punt operator businesses, as they seek to attract customers.

The proposed injunction forms part of a series of actions being taken by the council and partners to tackle the unauthorised punt businesses.

A council spokesperson said: "We are pleased to have a date for this High Court hearing which we have applied for after exhausting other options.

"We are hopeful that the High Court will grant the injunction so that we can put a stop to the unauthorised use of council land by commercial punt operators."