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Council obtains injunction to secure affordable housing provision on development site

Shropshire Council has obtained an injunction to secure affordable housing provision on a housing development site, it has been reported.

The injunction was secured by Michael Rudd of Kings Chambers, instructed by Kim Brown, solicitor with the council.

The background to the proceedings was that planning permission had been granted in August 2015 for the residential development in Hinstock comprising 36 houses, with an affordable housing provision of 5 houses being secured by a s106 agreement.

Kings Chambers said the landowner proceeded to develop the land and then commenced marketing for sale on the open market units intended as affordable housing. 

Shropshire sought a without notice injunction against the landowner and marketing agent to prevent the sale on the open market of the final two properties on the site, the authority being concerned that the landowners would attempt to sell those properties during the notice period.

Pepperall J sitting in the High Court at the Birmingham District Registry refused the application, observing that such behaviour would not be usual.

Kings Chambers said: “The application was renewed on a with-notice basis and during the four-day notice period the landowners purported to have sold the two properties, precisely as feared by the authority.”

The set said the injunction application was amended to prevent both the occupation and/or sale of the two properties as anything other than affordable housing, and the order was sought against the landowners, marketing agent and in addition “persons unknown”, relying upon the powers available under both s.106(5) and s.187B of the 1990 Act.

HHJ McKenna granted the order sought.

Kings Chambers said the injunctive powers available to local planning authorities under both s.106(5) and s.187B of the 1990 Act were “proving to be very valuable tools in the armoury” of local planning authorities.