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Supreme Court Delivers Blow to Off-Street Car Parking

Published on: 23 June 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Supreme Court Delivers Blow to Off-Street Car Parking

In an important ruling for residential and commercial property owners – particularly those who enjoy the benefit of off-street car parking - the Supreme Court has defined the circumstances in which local authorities will be required to pay compensation for the erection of barriers preventing or restricting access to the public highway.

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Court Gives Guidance on Planning ‘Sequential Test’

Published on: 18 June 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Court Gives Guidance on Planning ‘Sequential Test’

In opening the way for development of a superstore on the outskirts of a Shropshire town, the High Court has given important guidance on the correct application of the ‘sequential test’ when balancing the merits of one out-of centre proposal against another with the objective of protecting the viability and vitality of the town centre.

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Landowners Must Guard Against Public Access Rights

Published on: 17 June 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Landowners Must Guard Against Public Access Rights

Landowners must be even more astute to the risk that the development potential and value of their holdings could be adversely affected by public access rights after the Court of Appeal rejected arguments that a controversial provision of the Commons Act 2006Commons Act 2006 is incompatible with human rights.

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‘Somewhat Vague’ Contract Triggers High Court Dispute

Published on: 10 June 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

‘Somewhat Vague’ Contract Triggers High Court Dispute

The wisdom of taking professional advice prior to entering into commercial relations has been underlined by a case in which the ‘somewhat vague’ terms of an agreement between residential property developers gave rise to a costly High Court dispute in respect of the division of profits.

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Rates Ruling Promises Savings for Housing Estate Landlords

Published on: 04 June 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Rates Ruling Promises Savings for Housing Estate Landlords

In a decision which is likely to result in substantial savings for housing estate landlords, the Upper Tribunal (UT) has ruled that a concierge room within the curtilage  (the legal term for a property as a whole)of a residential development is exempt from non-domestic rates.

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Delay Does Not Always Justify Contract Repudiation

Published on: 02 June 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Delay Does Not Always Justify Contract Repudiation

In the context of a major construction project, the Court of Appeal has emphasised that delay in completion of works will only be sufficient to justify repudiation of a contract if it goes to the root of the agreement between the parties and deprives one of them of at least a substantial part of the benefit thereunder.

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Tenant Entitled to be Reimbursed for Overpaid Rent

Published on: 21 May 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Tenant Entitled to be Reimbursed for Overpaid Rent

In circumstances where a tenant of commercial property paid a full quarter’s rent notwithstanding that the lease was terminated pursuant to a break clause midway through that quarter, the tenant was entitled to reimbursement of rent in respect of the period when it was no longer in occupation of the premises.

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Off-Road Campaign Group Triumphs in ‘Green Lanes’ Dispute

Published on: 19 May 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Off-Road Campaign Group Triumphs in ‘Green Lanes’ Dispute

In an important ruling for landowners and countryside campaigners, motorcyclists and off-road vehicle enthusiasts have scored a major success in their fight to open up five Dorset ‘green lanes’ to motorised traffic.

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Threat to Manchester Ship Canal Land Values Lifted

Published on: 16 May 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Threat to Manchester Ship Canal Land Values Lifted

A threat to land values along the course of the Manchester Ship Canal has been lifted by a Court of Appeal ruling that sluices that have regulated the waterway’s flow for more than a century were wrongly classified as formal flood defences by the Environment Agency (EA).

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Forestry Management and ‘Public Open Space’

Published on: 15 May 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Forestry Management and ‘Public Open Space’

In a ruling which helps to define the concept of ‘public open space’, the High Court has rejected a challenge to a tree preservation order (TPO) brought by the owners of a landed estate who objected to local authority interference in their ambitious forestry management plans.

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Aesthetics Trumped by Tarmac in Conservation Area

Published on: 14 May 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

In a case which underlines that aesthetic appearance is only one factor in planning decisions, a brewery that is committed to the conservation of the historic Yorkshire town where it is based has failed to block plans for the re-surfacing of a public car park with tarmac, rather than more visually pleasing York stone setts.

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‘Energy from Waste’ Plant Overcomes Habitat Objections

Published on: 02 May 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

‘Energy from Waste’ Plant Overcomes Habitat Objections

Despite concerns being raised in respect of flood risks, pollution and the potential impact on colonies of rare bats, newts and butterflies, the High Court has opened the way for development of a huge ‘energy from waste’ facility to serve the needs of all Buckinghamshire's 500,000 residents.

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Landowner Wins £5.8 Million for Power Cable Blight

Published on: 30 April 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Landowner Wins £5.8 Million for Power Cable Blight

A landowner has been awarded more than £5.8 million compensation under the Electricity Act 1989 after its development plans were scotched by an overhead power cable crossing its land. The Upper Tribunal (UT) ruled that the cable’s presence had reduced the land’s value close to zero and the pay-out represented a fair assessment of the blight on its potential for housing development.

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‘Project Splitting’ Threat to Environmental Assessment Rules

Published on: 21 April 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

The Court of Appeal has warned local planning authorities to be alert to the danger that the requirement to carry out environmental impact assessments when considering planning applications for industrial developments over one hectare in size may be subverted by splitting projects onto separate sites each of which fall below the geographical threshold.

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Construction Company Faces £42 Million Income Tax Bill

Published on: 17 April 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Construction Company Faces £42 Million Income Tax Bill

A construction company which, during an eight-year period, breached its obligations under the Income Tax (Construction Industry Scheme) Regulations 2005Income Tax (Construction Industry Scheme) Regulations 2005 to deduct tax at source from sums paid to sub-contractors has failed in an appeal against an income tax demand for in excess of £42 million.

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Filling in an Insurance Proposal Form? Be Accurate and Honest!

Published on: 20 June 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Filling in an Insurance Proposal Form? Be Accurate and Honest!

In a cautionary tale that underlines the need for absolute accuracy and honesty in filling out insurance proposal forms, a businessman whose magnificent home was gutted by fire will not receive a penny in compensation after the High Court ruled that his insurance policy was not worth the paper it was written on.

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Even Failing Businesses Must Pay Non-Domestic Rates

Published on: 18 June 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Even Failing Businesses Must Pay Non-Domestic Rates

In a stark reminder that even failing businesses have to pay non-domestic rates, the owner of a disused hotel and conference centre has failed to convince the Upper Tribunal (UT) that it should be exempted on the basis that the premises could never be run at a profit and that no tenant would be likely to pay rent for them.

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Wind Farm Planning Permission Upheld

Published on: 13 June 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Wind Farm Planning Permission Upheld

In dismissing a challenge to wind farm proposals, the High Court emphasised that government policy generally favours renewable energy developments and rejected arguments that a planning inspector failed in his obligation to give ‘great weight’ to the project’s impact on a nearby area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

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Cold Water Poured on Middle Temple’s VAT Exemption Hopes

Published on: 10 June 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

In a ruling of interest to properly landlords and tax advisers, the Honourable Society of Middle Temple has failed to convince the Upper Tribunal (UT) that cold water it supplies to barristers’ chambers through a centuries-old network of pipes should be treated as a separate supply and exempted from Value Added Tax (VAT).

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Repair Obligation Could Not be Implied into Lease

Published on: 03 June 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Repair Obligation Could Not be Implied into Lease

In circumstances where a commercial lease imposed no obligation on the landlord to repair those parts of the building which it had retained, no such duty could be implied at common law and the tenants were not entitled to compensation following the repeated ingress of water into their premises, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

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Court Gives Guidance on Registration of Cautions

Published on: 30 May 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Court Gives Guidance on Registration of Cautions

In a ruling of interest to landowners and property lawyers, a gypsy squatting on a plot of Surrey wasteland has failed to convince the High Court that, on a correct reading of section 15 of the Land Registration Act 2002Land Registration Act 2002, he is entitled to register a caution against first registration of the site.

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Habitat Objections to New Railway Line Dismissed

Published on: 19 May 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Habitat Objections to New Railway Line Dismissed

The High Court has opened the way for a new Oxford-Bicester railway line which will pass within about a kilometre of the Oxford Meadows special conservation area. A campaigner’s plea that an insufficiently precautionary approach had been taken to the protection of the meadows’ habitats and species was rejected.

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Limited Role of Non-Statutory Consultees in Planning Decisions

Published on: 19 May 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

In a ruling which underlines the limited role of non-statutory consultees in the planning process, the Court of Appeal has ruled that a local authority’s planning committee was entitled to ignore the views of an informal consultative body prior to granting consent for a substantial development.

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Businessman Fights for Control of Crumbling Victorian Pier

Published on: 16 May 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

In a ruling which illustrates the difficulties of enforcing bankruptcy orders against residential property, a businessman has scored a High Court success in his fight to wrestle control of a crumbling Victorian pier from a local authority.

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Empty Properties Charity Refused Business Rates Relief

Published on: 14 May 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Empty Properties Charity Refused Business Rates Relief

In a test case decision which draws a clear distinction between the ‘occupation’ and ‘use’ of commercial property, the High Court has ruled that a charity which leased empty buildings nationwide at peppercorn rents, installing broadband boxes within them to transmit public safety messages to the public, was not entitled to relief from non-domestic rates.

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Rare Flora and Fauna Trump Lorry Park Plans

Published on: 08 May 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Rare Flora and Fauna Trump Lorry Park Plans

A village campaign group has triumphed in its High Court fight to block plans for a lorry park and industrial units close to a river which is home to rare flora and fauna and is recognised as a site of special scientific interest.

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‘Unimpressive’ Agricultural Tenancy Arbitration Upheld

Published on: 01 May 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

‘Unimpressive’ Agricultural Tenancy Arbitration Upheld

In the context of a landlord and tenant dispute in respect of an agricultural tenancy, a professional arbitrator’s ‘unimpressive’ reasoning was ‘just about enough’ to enable the parties to understand his decision and to avoid substantial injustice to either party, the High Court has ruled.

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Council Must Pay Following ‘Unsafe’ Pier Closure

Published on: 21 April 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Council Must Pay Following ‘Unsafe’ Pier Closure

The assignee of the former tenant and operator of a bingo hall and amusement arcade on Hastings Pier is entitled to compensation after the pier was closed to the public amidst concerns in respect of its structural integrity.

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Property Search Companies Triumph in Environmental Information Test Case

Published on: 17 April 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Property Search Companies Triumph in Environmental Information Test Case

Property search companies have triumphed in their fight to be given free access to environmental information by local authorities. The First-Tier Tribunal ruled that allowing councils to levy even modest administrative charges to cover the cost of providing such information would defeat the objectives of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

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Wind Turbines ‘Proximity’ Policy Declared Unlawful

Published on: 15 April 2013 | in categories: Commercial Property Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Wind Turbines ‘Proximity’ Policy Declared Unlawful

An emerging planning policy by which a local authority sought to impose a sliding scale of minimum distances between wind turbines and residential properties as a material consideration in planning decisions has been struck down as unlawful.

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