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Public houses and the ACV regime: the latest rulings

Christopher Cant analyses the latest appeal decisions in relation to the listing of pubs as assets of community value, covering issues including the recent past, financial viability and compensation. Read more
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May 12, 2021

High Court issues key ruling on "Traveller Injunctions" and "persons unknown", criticises suspected procedural breaches and abuse of court procedures in applications for interim orders

There are grounds to suspect that, in a significant number of applications by local authorities for interim injunctions against “Persons Unknown” targeting unauthorised encampments on land, there were material and serious breaches of the procedural requirements and the procedures of the Court – and the Interim Applications Court of the Queen’s Bench Division (Court 37) in particular – have been…
May 12, 2021

DVLA appoints law firm to £830k contract advising on exit from property PFI deal

The DVLA has handed law firm Gowling WLG a two-year contract worth more than £830,000 to advise on the expiry of a major PFI agreement.
May 10, 2021

Treasury to create £26m fund for councils migrating local land charges service to HM Land Registry

The Treasury is to set up a £26m fund for councils as part of its drive to establish a national Local Land Charges Register.
May 06, 2021

Council to pay housing association £117k after errors lead to cancelled land sale

Lichfield District Council is to pay a housing association compensation of almost £117,000 after errors in a land sale.
Apr 30, 2021

Government consults on residential developer tax aimed at contributing £2bn to cost of cladding remediation

The Government has launched a consultation on the proposed design of a new tax on the largest residential property developers to help contribute to the cost of cladding remediation work.
Apr 29, 2021

Council wins High Court challenge over decision by planning inspector not to include conditions restricting commercial uses

A planning inspector’s decision over conversion of a building in Manchester contained a legal error and must be quashed, the High Court has found.
Apr 29, 2021

Developer loses legal challenge after drawing error invalidated planning permission

A planning inspector was right to reject an appeal over a building where a drawing error showed it lower than its intended height, the High Court has ruled.
Apr 26, 2021

Real estate solicitor rejoins Devonshires as a partner after eight years away

A solicitor who previously worked at law firm Devonshires has returned to the firm as a partner to strengthen its growing Real Estate and Projects practice.
Apr 23, 2021

Council wins Supreme Court appeal over claim of £1.2m from heirs of school benefactor

The Supreme Court has allowed Oxfordshire County Council's appeal in a case in which a family said the sale of school land worth £1.2m, which was gifted to the council by their late family member, was unlawful.
Apr 19, 2021

Council to carry out internal review of potential land sale to financier in eye of lobbying storm

Cheshire West and Chester Council has said it will not progress the sale of farmland to Lex Greensill, the financier caught up in a central government lobbying row, “unless and until appropriate assurances are in place”.


May 06, 2021

Change of use and appropriate conditions

The High Court recently quashed an inspector’s decision allowing change of use without appropriate conditions. Horatio Waller explains why a city council’s appeal was successful.
May 05, 2021

Notices and statutory nuisances

A recent High Court ruling shows the need to avoid an overly technical approach to s.82(6) notices under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, writes Sarah Salmon.
May 05, 2021

Housing case law update - April 2021

Christopher Skinner, Rebecca Asady and Filip Bodnar round up the latest judgments of interest to housing associations and local authorities.
April 29, 2021

The High Court on empty rates mitigation and Makro type schemes

In a win for ratepayers, the High Court has clarified the law on empty rates mitigation. Jenny Wigley QC analyses the ruling.
April 22, 2021

Tower blocks, re-cladding and service charges

Timothy Straker QC, Jonathan Manning and Christopher Baker analyse a Court of Appeal case on service charge liability for re-cladding a tower block.
April 22, 2021

How to tackle urbexing

Lyn Crawford looks at what property owners, developers and contractors can do about "urbexing".
April 22, 2021

Fighting fire with fines

Even before the tragedy of what happened at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017 there could be no doubt that no limit can be put on the personal costs of a fire. The Government has now stated that the same can be said for the financial costs, writes Natalie Puce.
April 15, 2021

When the wind(fall) blows

Roy Pinnock examines the sweeping Commercial to Residential permitted development right that was trailed in Autumn 2020 and which will come into effect from 1 August 2021.

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Apr 07, 2021

20-6 or 4-1: Council wins High Court battle over lease of stately home

A High Court judge has likened the result of a trial of a lease dispute involving Wigan Borough Council to the outcome of rugby league and soccer matches.
Mar 31, 2021

Leaseholders win battle with City of London over service charges

Leaseholders have won a Court of Appeal case against the City of London Corporation over whether certain repairs to their homes are chargeable to them.
Mar 30, 2021

NHS trusts give up £2 billion business rates dispute with councils 

Eleven NHS trusts have abandoned plans to petition the Court of Appeal as part of a dispute with councils over the business rates they have to pay on hospitals.
Mar 25, 2021

Council wins High Court appeal over grant by inspector of permission for large digital advert

Calderdale Borough Council has won a High Court challenge to a decision by a planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to allow a large illuminated digital advertisement on a site in Elland.
Mar 22, 2021

Housing association selects seven firms for £2.2m property and development legal panel

A leading social landlord in the Midlands has appointed seven law firms to a £2.2m panel for property and development legal advice.
Mar 18, 2021

Court of Appeal upholds length of sentences for planning breaches

Eight people who committed repeated breaches of planning permission and court orders while trying to establish a site in Basildon have had their sentences confirmed after failing to convince the Court of Appeal that their punishments were too severe.
Mar 15, 2021

Land Registry launches Digital Identity Standard for conveyancing process

HM Land Registry has launched its first Digital Identity Standard, which provides a step-by-step list of requirements for conveyancers’ use of digital services to verify their client’s identity securely and conveniently online.
Mar 11, 2021

Council acknowledges that legal error 40+ years ago may mean village green is built on

A legal error 42 years ago by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has meant that land used as village green could be built on, it has emerged.
Mar 04, 2021

Judge rejects appeal in 'snails in crates' business rates dispute

The High Court has rejected an appeal over a business rates avoidance scheme which purportedly involved a snail farm in an office building.
Mar 03, 2021

Budget 2021: reaction from the sector

Local Government Lawyer looks at the reaction of the sector to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget.
Mar 03, 2021

Budget 2021: key measures

Local Government Lawyer identifies some of the key measures from Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget affecting the local government and housing sectors.
Feb 25, 2021

Court of Appeal upholds rejection of CAAD appeal but rules Upper Tribunal did not have power to make costs order

The Upper Tribunal did not have the power to make a costs order in a dispute over a certificate of appropriate alternative development (CAAD), the Court of Appeal has found.
Feb 16, 2021

Supreme Court to hear appeal by council this week in £1m dispute over land gifted to school

The Supreme Court will this week hear a council’s 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 12, 2021

Supreme Court upholds registration of land in working port as town and village green

An area of concrete in a working commercial port was validly registered by a county council as a town and village green, the Supreme Court has ruled.
Feb 05, 2021

Supreme Court to hand down key ruling next week on village greens and activities of landowner

The Supreme Court will next week (12 February) hand down an important ruling on town and village green registration.
Feb 04, 2021

Cladding crisis victims “should not be left out of pocket”: Law Society

The Law Society has called on the Government to protect leaseholders from the costs of making their homes safe from potentially deadly cladding.
Feb 04, 2021

Court of Appeal hands down ruling on policy for development in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and presumption in favour of sustainable development

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) allows a council to reject a planning application because of an adverse impact on an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Feb 04, 2021

Borough and county councils in row over restrictive covenant and proposed student housing scheme

The threat of a legal dispute between Colchester Borough Council and Essex County Council has emerged over a proposed development for the site of the town’s former bus station.
Feb 02, 2021

Council secures possession order evicting environmental protesters at development site

A High Court judge has granted the London Borough of Islington a possession order for a development site where protesters are occupying a copse scheduled for destruction.
Jan 25, 2021

Government consults on new 'Right to Regenerate' where councils and public bodies required to sell unused land

The Government has this month launced a consultation on a new ‘Right to Regenerate’ which would enable the public to require councils and the public sector in England to sell unused land and assets.
Jan 22, 2021

London borough fined £330,000 after death of five-year-old girl in playground

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has been fined £330,000 after a five-year-old girl died when playground equipment collapsed on top of her at Mile End Park.
Jan 21, 2021

North West council to apply to vacate High Court hearing in police HQ dispute to allow for further negotiations

Salford City Council will seek to delay a High Court case for six months to try to allow for settlement of a lengthy dispute with a developer.
Jan 07, 2021

Council wins Court of Appeal battle over fate of land subject to statutory trust for recreational purposes

Shropshire Council has won a case in the Court of Appeal over what happens when a local authority disposes of land subject to a statutory trust for public recreational purposes without complying with the relevant statutory requirements.
Dec 10, 2020

Housing association and phone masts businesses ordered to pay own way in dispute where legal costs reached £450k

Social landlord London & Quadrant Housing Trust and phone masts firm Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure have each been ordered to pay their own costs after a lengthy dispute that ran up a total bill of £450,000.
Dec 10, 2020

Council wins Court of Appeal battle over business rates and property guardians

A building is not split into individual hereditaments for rating purposes just because it has property guardians resident, the Court of Appeal has ruled.


March 26, 2021

Diverting a footpath under section 119 of the Highways Act 1980

The Court of Appeal has recently considered the criteria for the diversion of a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway. Trevor Ward examines the ruling.
March 26, 2021

The impact of registration of land as a TVG on the pre-existing commercial activities of a landowner

A recent Supreme Court ruling on town and village greens leaves one question answered, another left hanging, writes Richard Wald QC.
February 17, 2021

How enforced sales can help the empty homes crisis

Enforced sales could be an important tactic to help local authorities in their efforts to tackle empty homes, freeing up thousands of empty homes for families in housing need, writes Lyndon Campbell.
February 12, 2021

Landlords and waiver of the right to forfeiture

Lina Mattsson examines a Court of Appeal case involving a council that concerned the waiver rules and the right to forfeiture.
February 12, 2021

Business rates and property guardians

The Court of Appeal has overturned a decision by the Upper Tribunal and confirmed that a property guardianship scheme did not mitigate liability for business rates. Richard Symonds and Lucy Shepherd analyse the ruling.
February 05, 2021

Rooftop rows: What does an imposed Code agreement mean for site providers and operators?

Lillee Reid-Hunt and Christos Paphiti consider a recent Upper Tribunal decision that provides useful guidance on what site providers and telecoms operators can expect from the terms of an imposed Code agreement, especially in relation to upgrading and sharing of equipment and ballpark consideration and compensation figures.
February 02, 2021

Fire safety, cladding and compartmentalisation

John Murray and Stephen Radcliffe consider key fire safety issues for social landlords including in relation to cladding and compartmentalisation.
January 29, 2021

Public open spaces and development

The conflict between the need for open spaces for recreation and the availability of land for residential development has resulted in another interesting Court of Appeal decision, writes Christopher Cant.
January 15, 2021

Occupiers and a failure to warn

Emma Woods examines a High Court ruling on whether a council was under a duty to warn that a cricket match was taking place.
January 08, 2021

Insolvency influx – the upsurge of CVAs

James Nelson examines the rise in Company Voluntary Arrangements, analyses their impact on commercial leases and explains how landlords, including public bodies and local authorities, can respond.
December 04, 2020

Listing ACVs and compensation

Ruth Stockley analyses the first Upper Tribunal decision on compensation provisions relating to assets of community value.
December 04, 2020

Land-use conflict

The Supreme Court has given an important ruling on the discharge of restrictive covenants. David Sawtell analyses the judgment.
December 03, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – implications for property

The following Property practice note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the implications for commercial and residential property of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
November 26, 2020

Empty home strategies and homelessness

Lyndon Campbell examines why local authorities are using enforced sales to tackle homelessness.
November 06, 2020

Enfield London Borough Council v Persons Unknown: Applications for retrospective permission

Justine Soutter looks at the important implications a recent case involving a London borough may have for other local authorities dealing with fly tipping and unauthorised encampments.
October 15, 2020

Building Safety Charges – five things you need to know

Douglas Rhodes sets out some key points for local authority landlords ahead of major reforms to the law of service charges.
August 27, 2020

Freehold enfranchisement and local authorities

If the recent Law Commission proposals for the reform of freehold enfranchisement become law, it will be the first significant change in residential leasehold law for nearly 20 years. V. Charles Ward analyses the potential impact on councils.
August 20, 2020

Code for Leasing Business Premises 2020: a Code with more bite?

The new Code for Leasing Business Premises (2020 Code) comes into force on 1 September 2020. Rob Harrison and James Atkins analyse the changes.
August 06, 2020

Public sector rent deferrals and State aid

Jonathan Branton and Lee Pickett look into some of the ways State aid issues can arise in public sector property transactions, the ramifications and ways to proceed within the rules.
August 06, 2020

A new lease of life for public space injunctions?

What can councils do to obtain an injunction after the Bromley judgment? Jack Smyth looks at the lessons from the first hearing after the Court of Appeal ruling.