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The Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Housing Can Be Overcome

The presumption in favour of sustainable housing development, contained within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), is a powerful one – but it does not have the force of statute and can be overcome. The Court of Appeal made that point in blocking plans for up to 150 new homes on green land adjoining a market town. The would-be developer had been...

How Much Is a Freehold Interest Worth? Court of Appeal Clarifies the Law

Where a tenant exercises its right to buy a freehold, the sum payable is calculated on the basis of the property’s open market value, subject to the existence of the tenancy. But what happens if the original tenancy has been extended for a longer period? The Court of Appeal considered that issue in an important test case. It was common ground that the tenant...

Does Your Local Authority Have An Adequate Supply of Housing Land?

Demand for new homes is overwhelming, but local authorities that have set aside an adequate supply of housing land for the future are in a much stronger position when it comes to blocking developments that they view as undesirable. That point could hardly have been more clearly made than by one High Court case in which a council successfully challenged planning...

What Is the ‘Setting’ of a Heritage Asset? High Court Gives Guidance

What constitutes the ‘setting’ of a heritage asset? The High Court considered that burning issue in overturning planning permission for a development of 400 new homes on a site less than two miles away from a Grade I-listed stately home. The neo-classical property was viewed as one of the finest examples of 18th century architecture in Britain and the site...

Commercial Landlord Punished for Failing to Arrange Building Insurance

Commercial landlords usually bear the burden of arranging building insurance and any failure to do so can expose all concerned to the risk of catastrophic loss. In one case, a landlord who failed in that duty received a stiff fine for breaching a High Court order. The corporate landlord of a large Victorian civic building had covenanted with its tenants that it...

Defective Premises and Freeholder Liabilities – Court of Appeal Test Case

The potential liabilities of freeholders under the Defective Premises Act 1972 came under the spotlight in a Court of Appeal test case, arising from a tragic accident in which a tourist on honeymoon was fatally injured in a fall down stairs. The tourist was staying at a London flat when he fell. His widow subsequently sued the freeholder, the tenant under a...