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Pub Must Close After Restrictive Covenant Declared Pointless

Covenants that restrict the use of land can be discharged or modified if they have ceased to serve a useful purpose and are of no real benefit to local people. In one case that proved this point, the Upper Tribunal (UT) opened the way for the conversion of a hotel and pub into a convenience store. The pub’s title deeds contained a restrictive covenant, dated...

Controversial Basement Extension Threatened Diplomatic Incident

Basement extensions are increasingly popular, particularly in densely populated inner city areas with very high property prices, but they are by no means free from controversy. That was certainly so in one case in which plans to excavate under a listed building threatened to cause a diplomatic incident. The house was once occupied by the Russian Soviet Mission...

Doubts over Validity of Parking Agreements Dispelled by Court of Appeal

The pressure on vehicle parking spaces in London is extreme and many boroughs have entered into agreements with developers that new residents will not be entitled to apply for parking permits. Doubts in respect of the validity of such arrangements have now been dispelled by an important Court of Appeal ruling. A borough had granted planning consent for the...

Restrictive Covenant Amended To Enable House Building Plans

Covenants restricting the use of land commonly appear on title deeds, but they often date back many years and take no account of changing circumstances. A tribunal’s ruling, however, has shown that they are not written in stone and can be amended to ensure that scarce land supplies, particularly for housing, are put to good use. The owners of a detached house,...

Buying a Home Together? Do The Title Deeds Reflect Your Contributions?

Loving couples often contribute together to the cost of buying a home. However, if legal advice is unwisely dispensed with, such arrangements are often not recorded on title deeds and, as one tribunal case showed, that can store up serious trouble for the future. The case concerned a couple who, despite having been through an Islamic wedding ceremony, were not...

Planning Decisions Must Be Consistent and In Line With Published Policy

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has broad planning powers, but he has to exercise them consistently and in accordance with his own published policies. The High Court powerfully made that point in breathing new life into proposals for 400 new homes in the heartland of racing near Newmarket. The proposed development on farmland was...