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Councils secure continuation of injunction over fuel terminal protests until May 2023

Essex County Council and Thurrock Council have secured an extension to May 2023 of an injunction which prevents protestors from blocking roads and vehicles at key fuel terminals and filling stations in the area.

The interim injunction was granted on 25 April 2022 after an out of hours hearing without notice before Ritchie J.

It followed weeks of protests at oil terminals which saw Essex Police make 461 arrests. The estimated cost to Essex Police, Thurrock Council and other partners was more than £1m.

In Thurrock Council v Adams [2022] EWHC 1324 (QB) (27 May 2022) His Honour Judge Simon, sitting as a judge of the High Court, said he was “satisfied that (a) there is a serious question to be tried in these proceedings; (b) damages would not be an adequate remedy; and (c) the balance of convenience certainly lies in favour of granting injunctive relief”.

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He therefore ruled that the terms of the injunction should remain in place until at least May 2023.

The injunction in its present form contains 19 prohibitions. Under its terms, protestors are prevented from blocking roads, stopping vehicles and gluing themselves to the road or vehicles.

Thurrock Council said the judge had also ordered that the 222 defendants named in the injunction pay 50% of costs between them, with each ordered to pay an equal sum.

Leader of Thurrock Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill, said: “We are pleased that the judge has extended our injunction and that protestors will bear some of the costs it took for us to get these legal measures in place.

“The protests earlier this year caused considerable disruption for local residents and businesses as well as threatening vital fuel deliveries for the entire region. The innovative legal action taken by Thurrock Council, and our partners Essex County Council, completely prevents protestors from using the methods and tactics they employed to create this disruption.”

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