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Stroke On Trent City Council V. Wass Notes

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STROKE-ON-TRENT CITY COUNCIL V. WASS FACTS In the first week of November 1982 the defendants, W. & J. Wass Ltd. ("the company"), started to operate a Thursday market at Adderley Green, Longton, which, with Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent and Fenton (the six of Arnold Bennett's five towns), is within the area of the plaintiffs, Stoke-on-Trent City Council. At all those places except Fenton the council have for very many years, under statutory authority, operated markets on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Accordingly, when the company advertised its intended market during the same month the town clerk responded with a letter of protest, warning it of possible proceedings to prevent the council's market rights being infringed. Undeterred by that protest and without planning permission, the company went ahead with the operation of its market on the Adderley Green site, where it was held every Thursday until 1986. Evasion of the injunction by the company, moving the market: Enforcement and stop notices were duly served on the company, which appealed to the Secretary of State. On 8 June 1983, after a planning inquiry, the appeal was rejected. The company then appealed to the Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench Division, but on 30 January 1984 that appeal was dismissed and leave to appeal to this court was refused. The company failed to comply with the enforcement notice. It was prosecuted in the magistrates' court and eventually convicted on 11 October 1985. It gave notice of appeal, but abandoned the appeal in December of that year. The company then decided to move its market to a new site slightly to the north-west of the original. From 13 February 1986 its market has been held on the new site with part of the original site being used as a car park The company is currently operating its market on Tuesdays. So far nothing short of an injunction has deterred it from holding its market on one or other site on one or other day. On 4 March 1986, shortly after the company commenced operating on its new site, the writ in this action was issued. The council alleged that the company was infringing their right to operate their own market at Fenton on Thursdays. QUESTION But suppose a case where there has been no loss. Is the market owner kept to his nominal damages or can he recover substantial damages on the footing that if his leave and licence had been sought he could have required a fee to be

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