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Residential Property Updates

Developers Benefit From Extraordinary Planning ‘Mistake’

Published on: 17 July 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

A property company which was erroneously granted planning permission for a 180-home development following an extraordinary administrative mix-up has won a remarkable fight to keep it at the Court of Appeal.

An inspector’s decision to grant outline consent for the scheme had been mistakenly sent out just hours before the matter was purportedly called in by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for his own determination.

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Occupant of BT Repeater Station Must Move Out

Published on: 03 July 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

A man who says that he has lived for more than a decade in a converted British Telecom repeater station has failed in a High Court challenge to a planning inspector’s order that his residential use of the premises must cease.

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Oil Drilling in the Green Belt – Court of Appeal Rules

Published on: 26 June 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In a decision with important implications for the Metropolitan Green Belt, the Court of Appeal has ruled that exploratory drilling for hydrocarbons in the Surrey hills is a form of mineral extraction and therefore capable of being an 'appropriate' development.

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Residents Triumph in Outdoor Dining Dispute

Published on: 19 June 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In an important decision for city-dwellers, residents of an exclusive London square have triumphed in their High Court fight to overturn a planning permission which enabled a local restaurant to lay on outside meals for is customers.

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Validity of Enforcement Notices Cannot be Challenged in Criminal Courts

Published on: 12 June 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In a ruling which clarified a tricky area of the law and established that planning enforcement notices cannot be challenged in criminal proceedings, landlords who were convicted of letting holiday flats to long-term tenants have been precluded from arguing that their prosecution was an abuse of process.

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Restrictive Covenants not Written in Stone

Published on: 10 June 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In a case which reveals that covenants restricting development are not written in stone, the Upper Tribunal (UT) has opened the way for a couple to build their dream home in a London suburb – although they must pay £75,000 in compensation to a neighbour who fiercely objected to their proposals.

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Home Improvements? Adding a conservatory?

Author: Catherine Rosewell

Thinking about adding a nice sun trap and some extra space to your home?

Home Improvements?  Adding a conservatory?

Lisa Wilcock provides guidances regarding the legal issues that you need to consider when adding a conservatory to your home.

Nuclear Risk Not Enough to Scotch Airport Expansion Plans

Published on: 22 May 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Nuclear Risk Not Enough to Scotch Airport Expansion Plans

In opening the way for expansion of an airport in Kent, the High Court has rejected objectors’ arguments that the development would pose an unacceptable threat of disaster due to its close proximity to the Dungeness nuclear power plant.

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Court Overturns Flats Demolition Order

Published on: 19 May 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Court Overturns Flats Demolition Order

A developer who was ordered to tear down a block of flats which he had built too tall has triumphed in a Court of Appeal test case which established that planning inspectors have a degree of flexibility when considering such cases.

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Neighbours Pay Price of Not Getting Along

Published on: 06 May 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In a stern warning to neighbours that it pays to get along with each other, landowners engaged in a bitter legal battle over rights of way effectively achieved nothing despite spending four costly days fighting it out in the High Court.

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Planning Inquiries and Natural Justice

Published on: 28 April 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Planning Inquiries and Natural Justice

In an important ruling which will have a significant impact on the future conduct of planning inquiries, the Court of Appeal has ruled that an inspector did not act unfairly or in breach of natural justice when dealing with proposals for construction of 58 new homes on a rural site.

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Inconsiderate Flat Owner Pays Price for Disturbing Neighbours

Published on: 15 April 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Inconsiderate Flat Owner Pays Price for Disturbing Neighbours

It is well known that flat dwelling is not always free from strife, but few disagreements are likely to be as bitter as that between neighbours in a Central London apartment block after one of them carried out radical alterations which caused extensive damage to the flat upstairs.

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Family Which Defied Planning Laws Fined £20,000

Published on: 03 April 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Family Which Defied Planning Laws Fined £20,000

Three members of a family who flouted planning laws and defied a judge by failing to clear caravans and scrap from their land have been spared jail for their contempt of court – but have been ordered to pay a £20,000 fine and substantial legal costs bills.

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Developer’s Nightmare of Council Maladministration

Published on: 26 March 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Developer’s Nightmare of Council Maladministration

A property development company which was plunged into financial crisis by a catalogue of local authority maladministration will receive just £50,000 in compensation despite the Local Authority Ombudsman’s recommendation that it should be paid five times that sum.

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Councils Must Heed Requirement for More Housing Land

Published on: 10 March 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Councils Must Heed Requirement for More Housing Land

In upholding planning consents granted for two residential developments, the High Court has issued a stern warning to local authorities that important local planning decisions will be taken out of their hands if they fail to make sufficient provision to meet future housing needs.

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Tennis Court Blocked on Countryside Protection Grounds

Published on: 09 July 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Tennis Court Blocked on Countryside Protection Grounds

In the week of the Wimbledon tennis finals, a homeowner has failed to convince the High Court that he was irrationally refused planning permission to lay down a hard-surfaced tennis court in his rural back garden.

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Country Life Not Always So Idyllic

Published on: 29 June 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In a case which illustrates that country living is not always an idyll, a homeowner who objected on noise and odour grounds to his neighbour’s plans to keep chickens and goats in a new agricultural building has had his challenge to planning permission granted for the development dismissed by the High Court.

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Tribunal Guidance on Terrorism Insurance

Published on: 22 June 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Tribunal Guidance on Terrorism Insurance

In an important ruling for landlords, tenants and the insurance industry, the Upper Tribunal (UT) has found that the freeholders of a block of flats reasonably insured the premises against terrorism risks and were entitled to recover premiums from tenants by way of the service charge.

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Garden Lover Fights off £325,000 Tree Damage Claim

Published on: 18 June 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Garden Lover Fights off £325,000 Tree Damage Claim

In an important decision for gardening enthusiasts and landowners in general, a primary school headmistress who was sued for £325,000 after an elm tree in her garden collapsed onto a railway track – seriously damaging a train – has been cleared of all blame by a judge.

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City Dwellers Must Tolerate Noisy Environments

Published on: 11 June 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

City dwellers will be disappointed to hear of a High Court ruling that established the principle that those who live in heavily built up areas can be expected to put up with greater noise levels than their counterparts living in the country.

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Police and Crime Commissioner Challenges ‘New Town’ Plans

Published on: 04 June 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Police and Crime Commissioner Challenges ‘New Town’ Plans

A unique challenge by a local Police and Crime Commissioner to planning consent granted for construction of 4,250 homes as part of a ‘new town’ near Leicester – on grounds that not enough account had been taken of the increased burden on police services – has been dismissed by the High Court.

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Supreme Court Guidance on ‘Town or Village Greens’

Published on: 27 May 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Supreme Court Guidance on ‘Town or Village Greens’

In an important victory for developers, which also represents a serious blow to those committed to preserving open spaces for public recreation, a campaigner has failed to convince the Supreme Court that a playing field which had been used by local people for more than 50 years should be registered as a town or village green.

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Buying a property with a septic tank? Be aware of the regulations

Author: Catherine Rosewell

Alastair Dunnett provides guidance in relation to recent regulations about septic tanks

Buying a property with a septic tank?  Be aware of the regulations

Septic tanks are a type of system used to deal with sewage from properties that are themselves unable to connect to a public sewer. There has been various changes in recent years as to the rules concerning whether septic tanks and sewage treatment plants have to be registered. The regulations are far too complex and contain far too much detail to set out in full here. However, it is worth reviewing the current position and providing a brief overview of the most recent regulations.

Housing Developers Must Bow to Local Referendum

Published on: 13 May 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In an important decision for local democracy, the High Court has upheld the right of residents of a Cheshire town to cast their votes in a referendum, the result of which will have a critical impact on the scale of housing developments in the area.

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Community Infrastructure Levy Passes High Court Test

Published on: 01 May 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Community Infrastructure Levy Passes High Court Test

Property developers infuriated by the impact of the Government’s controversial Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on land values will face an uphill struggle in challenging the will of local authorities following a landmark High Court decision.

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Court Apportions Blame for Property Over-Valuation

Published on: 21 April 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Court Apportions Blame for Property Over-Valuation

Surveyors and lawyers are each facing £100,000 bills after the High Court ruled that they were equally to blame for a debacle in which a residential property was valued at almost double the sum for which it had been sold just a few months earlier.

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Neighbours Lavished Six-Figure Sum on Boundary War

Published on: 06 April 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Neighbours Lavished Six-Figure Sum on Boundary War

In a cautionary tale for homeowners, next-door neighbours at war over a three-foot strip of land between their properties lavished hundreds of thousands of pounds on legal costs – and got almost nowhere.

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Neighbours’ War Over Nine Inches of Shed Space

Published on: 31 March 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In a bitter illustration of the grave financial consequences that can arise from a failure to compromise, neighbouring homeowners who engaged in costly legal warfare over just nine inches of shed space were each left facing substantial legal costs.

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South-East Housing Shortage Triggers High Court Row

Published on: 18 March 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

The burning debate over how the south east of England’s acute need for more new homes is to be met formed the background to a High Court dispute in which a giant insurance company challenged a local authority’s refusal to allocate its strategic land-holding for housing development.

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Stamp Duty warning for buyers

Author: Catherine Rosewell

Be careful when assessing the contents of any property

Stamp Duty warning for buyers

The case of Gill Orsman –v- HMRC has dealt with the important question of apportionment of the money being paid by a buyer between the property itself and the contents.

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