Public Space Protection Order - (PSPO) - Stafford Borough

A PSPO can help tackle problems in areas across Stafford Borough. For example, it can place restrictions on where people can drink alcohol or the number of dogs a person can walk at any one time.

The current PSPO (which is due to expire on 6 December 2026) was introduced following consultation with residents, businesses and organisations. It came into force on 7 December 2023 and covers the whole of the borough.

The order is in place for three years and can be viewed along with accompanying maps:

Challenging the validity of a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO)

Section 66(7) of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (“the Act”) provides that the only legal proceedings in which a challenge to the validity of a PSPO (or a variation thereof) may be brought is by way of an application to the High Court.

Under Section 66 of the Act an “interested person” (who lives in the restricted area or regularly works in or visits it) may apply to the High Court to question the validity of the PSPO (or a variation thereof) within 6 weeks of the date the PSPO is made or varied. This also includes an interested person who has been charged with failing to comply with a PSPO, but alleges that the Council did not have the power to include a particular prohibition or requirement in a PSPO. Following an application, the High Court has the power to suspend the operation of the PSPO (including any of its requirements or prohibitions) or a variation on an interim basis until the Court has reached a decision.

An application to challenge a PSPO can only be made on two grounds:-

  • That the local authority did not have the power to make or vary the PSPO or to include particular requirements or prohibitions contained in it; or
  • The PSPO requirements set out in Chapter 2 of Part 4 of the Act were not complied with in relation to the PSPO or its variation.

If the High Court grants an application and is satisfied that the local authority did not have the power to make or vary the PSPO (including any of its requirements or prohibitions), and that the interests of the applicant have been substantially prejudiced as a result of this failure to comply with the Act, it may suspend or quash the PSPO or any of its requirements or prohibitions. A PSPO or its requirements or prohibitions can be suspended or quashed in their entirety or so far as is necessary for the protection of the interests of the applicant.

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