Coronavirus and executing documents remotely

David Sawtell and Gethin Thomas look at the legal position on the execution of documents during the coronavirus outbreak and the particular issues faced by local authorities. Read more
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  NEWS

Mar 24, 2020

Government to protect commercial tenants from eviction if they miss rent payments over coronavirus outbreak

Commercial tenants who miss a payment in the next three months because of the coronavirus outbreak will be protected from eviction, the government has announced.
Mar 23, 2020

Landowner loses Upper Tribunal appeal over certificate of appropriate alternative development for site acquired for link road

The owner of a field that was compulsorily acquired to provide land for the construction of a link road has lost his appeal over the certificate of appropriate alternative development he was given.
Mar 17, 2020

Government consults on how to stop councils using Public Works Loan Board loans for commercial property investment

The government has launched a consultation this month on the development of a targeted intervention designed to stop ‘debt for yield’ activity where local authorities use low-cost loans from the Public Loans Works Board (PWLB) to buy investment property primarily for rental income.
Mar 12, 2020

Government to set Local Plans deadline for December 2023, review calculation of Local Housing Need

A requirement for all local authorities to have up-to-date Local Plans in place by December 2023, a review of the formula for calculating Local Housing Need, a raised threshold in the Housing Delivery Test and reform of planning fees are among the proposals contained in a policy paper issued by the government today.
Mar 12, 2020

Supreme Court hears £500m case on cash machines and business rates

The Supreme Court is this week (11-12 March) hearing an appeal from valuation officers over the rating of ATM machines and similar facilities.
Mar 09, 2020

Supreme Court to hear case over whether 18th century lead urns were ‘buildings’ for purposes of listed building consent

The Supreme Court will this week hear a dispute over whether a pair of 18th century lead urns resting on limestone piers were ‘buildings’ on an application for listed building consent.
Mar 05, 2020

Borough wins café lease forfeiture ruling in first Capped Costs List Pilot case to reach trial

Burnley Borough Council was entitled to treat a café lease as forfeit when a cafe operator sublet the property, the High Court has found.
Mar 02, 2020

Claimant fails in legal challenge over abandonment of procurement of strategic estates partnership

An NHS trust has defeated a legal challenge over its decision to abandon a procurement exercise for a 10-year strategic estates partnership (SEP), in circumstances where it had previously made a decision to award the contract to the claimant.
Feb 27, 2020

Pub owner loses appeal over liability order for Business Development District levy

Omitting information from a Business Improvement District (BID) levy demand in error did not in itself invalidate the demand notice, the Divisional Court has found.
Feb 26, 2020

Council seeks solicitors to advise on use of ‘Bare Trust’ for land pooling on 2,400-home scheme

Rotherham Council is to seek to appoint solicitors to a £70,000 contract to advise on the use of a 'Bare Trust' for land pooling for a major development.

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

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March 27, 2020

Company wins High Court battle over business rates and subletting

A company was not liable for business rates on a building it does not wholly occupy, the High Court has found.
March 26, 2020

Building safety reforms - what impact on local authority landlords?

In the wake of new building safety reforms, Jessica Arczynski and Ian Doolittle look at how local housing authorities will be affected.
February 21, 2020

Open spaces and the ACV regime

Christopher Cant looks at the key considerations when attempts are made to have open spaces listed as Assets of Community Value (ACV).
February 14, 2020

Interpretation of lawful use certificates

Michael Rudd analyses the outcome of a recent case concerning the applicability of the familiar interpretative principles of planning permissions to lawful development certificates.
February 07, 2020

Green Space borough-wide preventative injunctions: the view from the Court of Appeal

Steven Woolf examines the Court of Appeal's recent decision and guidance on Green Space borough-wide preventative injunctions.
February 07, 2020

Extending prior-approval time limits by agreement

The High Court has ruled that prior-approval time limits can be extended by agreement. Charles Streeten explains why.
January 29, 2020

A new beginning? – Enfranchisement valuation reform

The Law Commission has now published its report on options to reduce the price payable in lease extension and enfranchisement claims. William Bethune and David Zong analyse its findings.
January 03, 2020

The Electronic Communications Code and interim rights

The Court of Appeal has recently given an important ruling on interim rights under the Electronic Communiciations Code. Jonathan Seitler QC explains the outcome.

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 MORE NEWS

Feb 24, 2020

Government to consult on new duty requiring owners and operators to protect public spaces and venues from terror

The Home Office will consult this spring on a proposed “Protect Duty” which would require owners and operators of public spaces and venues to put in place measures to keep the public safe from a terrorist attack.
Feb 21, 2020

Council rethinks commercial property investment in light of CIPFA guidance and PWLB rate hike

West Berkshire Council is considering whether to invest the £37.5m remaining in its property budget in further properties after new guidance and increased borrowing costs put a question mark over continuing to use the money in this way.
Feb 19, 2020

Council overturns allotment change-of-use ban at CoA

The Court of Appeal has overturned a High Court ruling that Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council must keep an allotment site in use, in a ruling that Lord Justice Lewison called “very strange”.
Feb 13, 2020

Watchdog calls on ministers to check local authority borrowing framework is fit for purpose amid commercial property investment concerns

Local authority investment in commercial property has called the soundness of the prudential borrowing framework into question and raised concerns about how far the Government can rely on it to support value-for-money decisions.
Feb 13, 2020

Judge dismisses case brought over ownership of village hall, makes restraint order

A judge has dismissed a case brought over the ownership of a village hall as totally without merit and issued an order restraining one litigant from bringing further actions.
Feb 06, 2020

Supreme Court to hear dispute over land gifted to school and whether £1m+ sale funds should go to estate of donor

The Supreme Court has given a county council permission to appeal in a dispute over whether the ownership of land, which was gifted to a school under the School Sites Act 1841, reverted to the donor’s estate when the school ceased to operate from the gifted land.
Feb 06, 2020

Borough declines to comment amid report it will not take legal action over £12m project overspend

Corby Borough Council has refused to confirm or deny local reports that it has dropped legal action over construction of the town’s Cube building.
Feb 05, 2020

Family ordered to pay £160k over “irreparable damage” to scheduled monument

Three individuals found responsible for causing serious damage to a scheduled monument have been ordered to pay a total of £160,000 after being taken to court by Historic England.
Feb 04, 2020

Law firm advises Clarion on acquisition of canal-side property for 66-home scheme

Winckworth Sherwood is representing Clarion on the acquisition of a canal-side property in central Manchester that will be developed into 63 apartments and 3 town houses for sale on a shared ownership basis.
Jan 30, 2020

District council faces making £1.1m refund after business rates challenge by Amazon

Cannock Chase District Council is set to lose around £1.1m in a business rates refund after the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) upheld an appeal by online retailer Amazon.
Jan 30, 2020

High Court rules directors cannot buy assets of their liquidated company on the cheap

The High Court has ruled that company directors cannot buy assets from their liquidated companies at below market value.
Jan 23, 2020

Council wins Upper Tribunal appeal over valuation of museum for business rates purposes

A city council has won an appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) over how museum properties are valued for business rates purposes.
Jan 23, 2020

Resident wins permission for judicial review challenge over HS2 tunnel design near Euston station

A resident who lives near the planned route of the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail line has won the right to bring a judicial review against its tunnel design under London’s Euston station.
Jan 21, 2020

Court of Appeal rejects council bid for borough-wide injunction, issues guidance on tackling unauthorised encampments

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the London Borough of Bromley over a High Court judge’s refusal to grant a borough-wide injunction on encampment at all accessible public spaces in the council’s area.
Jan 20, 2020

Bevan Brittan boosts Leeds office with hire of property disputes partner

Law firm Bevan Brittan has appointed James Teagle as a partner in its property disputes team.
Jan 17, 2020

Councils call for tougher legislation, new powers to tackle business rates avoidance

The Local Government Association has called for tougher legislation in England to tackle business rates avoidance, saying research had shown that the problem is costing local services an estimated £250m a year.
Jan 08, 2020

Council secures injunction to stop proposed “tent city” homeless encampment

Leeds City Council has today (8 January) secured an injunction against a proposed homeless encampment which it claimed would create a “tent city” in a car park.
Jan 08, 2020

Law firm advises borough council on £18.7m acquisition of long leasehold interest in leisure park

Law firm Ashfords has advised Maidstone Borough Council on the acquisition of a long leasehold interest in a leisure park for circa £18.7m.
Dec 31, 2019

Magistrates order homeowner to pay £61,000 over damage to protected tree

A homeowner who damaged a 90-year-old tree so much that it had to be felled has been fined more than £60,000 following a criminal prosecution by Chelmsford City Council.
Dec 13, 2019

Owner of ex-British Legion hall fails in tribunal bid to stop registration as asset of community value

The owner of a former British Legion Hall cannot prevent it from being designated as an asset of community value, the First-Tier Tribunal General Regulatory Chamber has ruled.
Dec 13, 2019

Tribunal backs decision to designate overgrown land as asset of community value

The First-Tier Tribunal has upheld Winchester City Council’s decision to allow an area of overgrown land to be designated as an asset of community value.
Dec 13, 2019

Council loses Upper Tribunal battle over modification of headlease that would allow conversion of 76,000 sq ft office building into 114 flats

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council must modify the headlease of a former office building to allow for conversion to residential use, the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has ruled.
Dec 12, 2019

Relief for councils as NHS trusts lose High Court bid to claim £1.5bn charities reduction on business rates

A group of 17 NHS foundation trusts have failed to persuade a High Court judge that they are charities and so eligible for substantial reductions on the non-domestic rates payable on the properties they occupy.
Dec 11, 2019

Supreme Court allows appeals by land-owning public bodies in dispute over statutory incompatibility and village green registration

The Supreme Court has by a 3-2 majority allowed appeals by Lancashire County Council and NHS Property Services over whether statutory incompatibility defeats an application to register land as a town or village green where the land is held by the public authority for statutory purposes.
Dec 05, 2019

Supreme Court to hand down key ruling next week on village greens and land held by public bodies pursuant to statutory powers

The Supreme Court will next week (11 December) hand down a key judgment on village green registration where publically accessible land is held by public authorities pursuant to statutory powers.

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

December 20, 2019

Public authorities, statutory powers and village greens

Francis Taylor Building comments on a Supreme Court judgment on village greens that will prove hugely significant for landowning public bodies.
December 17, 2019

Social landlords and water charges

A recent ruling in the High Court in a test case on water re-selling has led to claims that local authorities and housing associations could face having to refund millions of pounds to tenants. Simon Kiely and Anna Moon analyse the judgment.
December 13, 2019

Compulsory purchase of ACV-listed public houses

Christopher Cant looks at the lessons to be learned from the recent compulsory purchase of a public house that was listed as an asset of community value (ACV).
December 06, 2019

Climate emergency #4: have you thought about Retrofitting?

Maxim Laithwaite, David Hutton and Nathan Bradberry analyse how local authorities and registered providers can use retrofitting to help deliver on climate emergencies.
December 06, 2019

Climate emergency #3: have you thought about New Housing?

In the latest of a series of articles on how local authorities can respond to a climate emergency, Maxim Laithwaite and David Hutton consider the opportunities provided by new housing?
November 22, 2019

‘Code Red’ - Guidance for landowners on the (New) Electronic Communications Code

Were the initial anxieties of public and private sector landowners about the Electronic Communications Code justified? James Nelson, Lillee Reid-Hunt and Nicholas Grundy QC examine its impact.
November 22, 2019

Implications of the Giordano decision for CIL

A recent Court of Appeal decision in relation to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) has significant implications - and some odd consequences, writes Christopher Cant.
November 22, 2019

Applying heritage policies: levels of harm

A High Court judge has recently issued an important ruling concerning the application of heritage policies. Killian Garvey and Philip Robson examine the outcome.
November 14, 2019

Social housing restrictions – is Homes England consent required or not?

Tanya Edmonds looks at the uncertainty around Land Registry restrictions when social housing providers dispose of land.
November 08, 2019

Unoccupied properties and immunity from enforcement action

A London borough recently succeeded in an important High Court challenge to the Secretary of State’s approach to immunity from enforcement action. Charles Streeten explains why.
November 08, 2019

Recovering costs after the lifting of automatic suspensions

Melanie Pears and Tim Care examine a case where a claimant bidder argued that the defendant contracting authority should not have all the costs of its successful application to lift an automatic suspension.
November 01, 2019

The public/private joint venture – why do they succeed?

Anthony Vittadini highlights some of the keys to success when implementing public/private joint ventures and those involving property in particular.
October 29, 2019

Retrofitting social housing

Retrofit social housing is crucial to meet zero net emission targets. Nathan Bradberry explains what this opportunity involves for local authorities and registered providers.
October 25, 2019

Leases, outdoor advertising and concessions

The Court of Appeal recently rejected a legal challenge to a London borough’s award of leases for land on which structures that support large digital advertising screens are situated. Mari Roberts explains why.
October 18, 2019

Property guardians and rating

The Upper Tribunal has clarified the identification of the unit of assessment for buildings occupied by property guardians, writes Luke Wilcox.
October 04, 2019

Biodiversity Net Gain – what are the key features?

The government is to introduce a requirement for development to deliver 'biodiversity net gain'. Liz Dunn provides an overview for local authorities, landowners and developers.
September 20, 2019

Gypsy and Traveller site allocation policy defended

A city council recently successfully defended a judicial review challenge over its Gypsy and Traveller site allocations policy. Adrian Davis analyses the judgment.
September 13, 2019

Heritage assets, demolition and future benefits

The High Court has interpreted paragraph 196 of the National Planning Policy Framework on the protection of heritage assets. Matthew Fraser explains the outcome.
August 30, 2019

Section 73 permissions and the new CIL Regulations

Christopher Cant assesses the application of the Community Infrastructure Levy regime to planning permissions granted under section 73 in relation to post-CIL parent permissions.
August 30, 2019

Services charges and additional provisions

The Upper Tribunal has considered whether a tenancy agreement allowed a social landlord to charge for additional services. John Murray reports on the outcome.