Oxfordshire Director of Legal

How to (lawfully) rename streets and remove statues

Ruchi Parekh highlights the relevant legal framework and some of the issues that councils will need to consider before amending their street names or removing statues. Read more
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Jun 22, 2020

Ministry issues code of practice for commercial property relationships during COVID-19

The Government has published a code of practice “to encourage commercial tenants and landlords to work together to protect viable businesses” during the coronavirus pandemic.
Jun 18, 2020

Court of Appeal refuses Valuation Office Agency permission to appeal ruling on rateable valuation of council-run museum

The Court of Appeal has refused to grant the Valuation Office Agency permission to appeal a ruling in favour of Exeter City Council over the rateable valuation of the city’s Grade II-listed Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM).
Jun 18, 2020

Social landlord fails in Upper Tribunal appeal over conditions for dispensing with normal consultation of tenants

Social landlord Aster Communities has lost an appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) over consulting lessees about works whose cost could be recovered through the service charge.
May 27, 2020

Treasury consults on lending terms for Public Works Loan Board as crackdown looms on commercial property investment by councils

The Treasury has this month launched a consultation on future lending terms for the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) and signalled its intention to crack down on 'debt-for-yield' commercial property investment by councils.
May 21, 2020

Supreme Court hands down key ruling on listed buildings

Planning inspectors should reconsider whether two lead urns that were placed on top of limestone piers at a historic house were ‘buildings’ or not, the Supreme Court has ruled.
May 21, 2020

Cash machines in supermarkets not separate hereditaments for rating purposes: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has upheld a Court of Appeal ruling that ATM machines are not rateably occupied separately from the host stores.
May 14, 2020

Ministry issues guidance on compulsory purchase matters during pandemic

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published guidance for acquiring authorities on compulsory purchase matters during COVID-19.
May 14, 2020

Developer fails in claim that 135-home residential scheme was appropriate alternative development for compulsorily purchased site

A judge has rejected a developer's claim that 135 homes would have been appropriate alternative development for a site compulsorily purchased for a bypass.
May 07, 2020

Upper Tribunal allows appeal by owner over order to demolish damaged house

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has overturned an order by the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) that a damaged house must be demolished.
May 07, 2020

High Court judge orders involvement of Attorney-General in dispute between council and community trust over sale of old bus depot

A High Court judge has intervened in a property dispute involving the London Borough of Brent after concluding “something has gone wrong in these proceedings” involving the Attorney General.


June 19, 2020

The First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) - practice and procedure

This Property Disputes guidance note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the jurisdiction, practice and procedure of the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).
June 19, 2020

Varying s106 obligations Part 2: S106B appeals

In the second in a series of articles from Landmark Chambers on the subject of the variation and enforcement of s106 obligations, James Maurici QC considers s106B appeals in relation to variations and discharge.
June 12, 2020

Quick guide to landlord’s remedies for breach of lease

The following property disputes guidance note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information for commercial landlords.
June 04, 2020

COVID-19 related checks and proposals: pitfalls, tips and an update

As part of their mini webinar series on rating law, Luke Wilcox and Stephen Morgan discuss COVID-19 related checks and proposals.
June 01, 2020

Compulsory purchase in the time of coronavirus

Simon Randle, Vivienne Sedgley and Katharine Elliott analyse recent government guidance on compulsory purchase orders during the pandemic.
May 29, 2020

The meaning of 'listed building'

The Supreme Court has ruled whether a Planning Inspector is able to determine whether an item which has been designated as a listed building is in fact a building, write Richard Harwood QC and Catherine Dobson.
May 28, 2020

Social landlords and relaxation of the lockdown

What does the easing of the lockdown mean for providers of social housing? John Murray explains.
May 22, 2020

The power to make a Public Path Diversion Order

Richard Humphreys QC sets out points for councils, vendors, purchasers and owners of adjacent land when it comes to the diversion of public paths.

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May 05, 2020

HM Land Registry makes temporary changes on identity verification, allows ‘Mercury signing approach’ for deeds

HM Land Registry has introduced temporary changes when verifying a person’s identity and for signing deeds, effective from 4 May.
Apr 30, 2020

Judge dismisses bid to restrain presentation by councils of winding-up petitions over unpaid business rates

The High Court has thrown out a case against two councils brought by the director of a company already subject to a general civil restraint order and who made a “bizarre” suggestion to a judge.
Apr 23, 2020

County council wins High Court appeal over deregistration of common land

Hampshire County Council has won an appeal over an inspector’s decision to deregister as common land an area where an airport is located.
Apr 22, 2020

COVID-19 leads to rise in tensions over public rights of way, research finds

A survey of rights of way officers at local authorities has found an increase in instances of tension between walkers and footpath users, farmers and landowners as a result of COVID-19.
Apr 20, 2020

MPs launch inquiry into local authority commercial property investment

The Public Accounts Committee is to hold an inquiry into councils’ investment in commercial property, following what it described as a “recent step-change in the scale of activity”.
Apr 09, 2020

Group wins permission for challenge to plans for site next to football club training ground, saying it has become precious urban meadow

Activists involved in a lengthy planning dispute have won permission to take the London Borough of Ealing to judicial review.
Apr 06, 2020

Councils want to keep parks open, but people need to follow social distancing, says Local Government Association

The government has called on councils not to close parks unless it is impossible to maintain social distancing in them.
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.
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.


May 12, 2020

PD51Z, case law update and proposals for space furlough and insolvency protection

Michael Walsh, Daniel Dovar, Jonathan Upton and Piers Harrison discuss PD51Z and Arkin v Marshall, the Supreme Court’s decision in Duval and proposals for space furlough and insolvency protection.
May 12, 2020

From surviving to thriving in the new normal

Acuity Law and Cooke & Arkwright review the latest developments and continually evolving legislative environment in the commercial property market and the issues relevant to real estate professionals in the current climate.
May 07, 2020

All Over For The Shop?

In this podcast, Kings Chambers' Philip Robson talks to Jeremy Hinds, National Head of Retail Planning at Savills, about the future of the high street, including what retailers and local authorities can do to deliver vibrant town centres.
May 01, 2020

"I [still] want to break free”

Cynyr Rhys examines the potential headache of compliance with break conditions during COVID-19.
April 24, 2020

Covid-19 and claimed rights of way

Stephen Whale and Evie Barden discuss the lessons learnt from a recent right of way case and consider whether landowners may be able to defeat claims for public or private rights of way where social distancing policies interrupt the use of ways.
April 24, 2020

Public sector property after the virus

Chris Plumley examines some of the early trends we are seeing in relation to public sector property during the coronavirus outbreak.
April 23, 2020

Amendments to PD51Z

In the first in a series of podcasts addressing topical property related legal issues, Jonathan Upton, Michael Walsh, Piers Harrison and Daniel Dovar of Tanfield Chambers discuss the amendment to PD51Z.
April 17, 2020

Dealing with easement claims

A rigorous and confident strategy from the outset is key to providing certainty with easement claims. David Nuttall presents a procedural roadmap for these cases.
March 27, 2020

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.
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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.
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).