In the context of a flat-building project in central London, a High Court ruling has underlined that it is perfectly acceptable for local authorities to require would-be developers to invest in community facilities as part of the planning process.
Edge of town shopping centres are often intensely controversial because of the serious impact they can have on existing high street trade. The Court of Appeal examined that issue in upholding a planning permission granted for a food store 500 metres from the heart of a market town.
Draft agreements that are ‘subject to contract’ are merely working documents that do little more than express a hope for the future. One property development company found that out to its cost after putting large amounts of time and effort into a £6.8 million deal but coming away without a penny.
Philosophers have pondered principles of cause and effect for centuries and judges do the same on a daily basis. In one striking case, the High Court was asked to decide whether a catastrophic flood at a City of London livery hall was caused by the negligence of a demolition crew who were working nearby.
In a case which powerfully underlined the high standard of proof required to show entitlement to tax concessions, a builder has failed to convince a tribunal that his VAT liability in respect of a renovation project should be capped at 5% on the basis that the residential property had been empty for two years.
In a case of vital significance to the future shape of a substantial tranche of West London, residents groups have failed in a wide-ranging legal attack on ambitious plans for the regeneration of the Earl's Court and West Kensington areas.
chipIn a telling example of the bitter disputes that can arise from the exercise by local authorities of compulsory purchase powers, a couple who sought over £320,000 compensation following the acquisition of their fish-and-chip shop to make way for a regeneration scheme will have to make do with less than £90,000.
In the context of a bitter landlord and tenant dispute in respect of a steel works which had been kept in mothballs for almost two years since its closure, the High Court has refused to grant an interim injunction restraining the tenant from removing its chattels and trade fixtures from the site.
In an important test of recently reformed Green Belt policies, the High Court has ruled that, whilst the development of outdoor sporting and recreational facilities in protected areas is ‘potentially not inappropriate’, very special circumstances will still be required to justify grants of planning permission.
In a crucial test of Government policy to move away from transporting freight by road and towards greater use of the nation’s rail and canal networks, Leeds City Council's attempts to protect the city's historic canal-side have met with a major stumbling block at the High Court.
In the context of an acrimonious building dispute, the High Court has emphasised that adjudicators faced by complex legal arguments should not have their decisions subjected to minute examination by judges and that challenges to their decisions on fairness grounds should be treated with ‘healthy scepticism’.
In an important decision for residential landlords, the Upper Tribunal has ruled that the freeholder of a block of flats will not have to bear the financial consequences of a mix-up that led to more than £9,000 worth of electricity bills going missing.
A campaign group opposed to plans to turn Lord Beaverbrook's former country home into a hotel, health club and spa and high-end golf course has triumphed in a legal challenge to the scheme after the High Court ruled that councillors who approved it had ‘at best paid lip service’ to relevant Green Belt policies.
In a stark reminder that even the most prestigious building projects can go seriously wrong, the trustees of the new Museum of Liverpool have been awarded more than £2.3 million damages against a leading firm of architects they blamed for a series of costly design and construction problems.
Local authorities have wide powers to restrict public access to buildings or structures which they consider dangerous. However, a Supreme Court case involving closure of a seaside town’s crumbling pier underlined that those who suffer loss of trade as a result of such emergency action are usually entitled to compensation.
The need to foster economic development and provide employment opportunities is an important factor in many planning cases – but it does not always prevail. In one case that made the point, the High Court scotched plans for a new industrial estate on a Greenfield site within sight of a historic castle.
Written contracts can be varied orally post signature unless they specifically state to the contrary. In one case which illustrated the point, a property landlord was found by the Court of Appeal to have wrongfully excluded a tenant who was in rent arrears, having earlier orally agreed to stay its hand.
In a guideline decision, the Court of Appeal has emphasised that property owners are not required to physically confront their neighbours to prevent the latter obtaining rights over their land and that a polite notice will generally suffice.
In a ruling which fosters the hope that the seaside resort of Margate may rediscover the popularity it enjoyed in its heyday, the Court of Appeal has approved compulsory purchase orders that will make way for development of a £10 million heritage theme park in the town.
In a ruling of crucial importance to the financial services and banking industries, two businessmen who accused their bank of mis-selling them a financial product which left them seriously out of pocket have had their compensation hopes dashed by the Court of Appeal.
Professionals engaged in dispute resolution cannot afford to be faint-hearted as is evidenced by a recent case in which an adjudicator who stood between warring parties in an acrimonious construction contract dispute has fought off accusations of delay, bias, breach of natural justice and acting beyond his powers.
In a stern reminder that the greatest care is always required in filling out insurance proposal forms, a social housing association’s insurance cover in respect of a £4.6 million construction project was not worth the paper it was written on after it misidentified the building company that was carrying out the work.
In a stern warning that jumping the planning gun can have grave consequences, a developer found itself mired in judicial review proceedings after prematurely starting work on a major waste incinerator project prior to obtaining council confirmation that pre-commencement conditions had been satisfied.
In a stark warning to businesses to watch out for tradesmen offering bogus property services, a crook pretended that scores of commercial premises had to have their drinking water compulsorily tested and hit them with substantial charges.
In a telling reminder that planning permissions are not always secure and that their validity may depend on factors outside a developer’s control, consent granted for a 20-caravan holiday park on a Green Belt site has been overturned by the High Court after the relevant local authority failed to give adequate reasons for its decision.
In a ruling which gives useful guidance on the meaning of ‘trade’ in the tax context, a tribunal has ruled that a laundry occupied by an NHS trust is a ‘commercial building’ within an enterprise zone and therefore qualifies for 100% income tax relief by virtue of section 271(1) of the Capital Allowances Act 2001 .
In a ruling of central importance to property owners whose premises are damaged or looted during public disturbances, the High Court has ruled that a public policing authority must bear much of the multi-million-pound cost after a warehouse was gutted and its contents stolen or destroyed during the August 2011 riots.
In a stern warning that breaches of planning control can lead to jail in extreme cases, a ‘wily operator’ who repeatedly flouted court orders requiring him to clear farmland of inappropriate development has been sent to prison for nine months by the High Court.
In a case which threw into stark relief the increasing conflict between Green Belt policies and unmet demand for new housing, controversial plans for construction of 116 homes and a 72-bed care home on a green field site near St Albans, Herts, have been put back on track by the High Court.