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Allotment Holders Give Way Before 500-Home Development Plan

The relentless pressure to build more new homes could hardly be more clearly illustrated than by one case in which allotment holders in a small village were required to give way before a 500-unit residential development. The allotments were entirely surrounded by a much larger site that had for some years been earmarked for development. The owner of the land, in...

Everyone Knows A House When They See One – Or Do They?

Houses are for living in and most people would say that they would know one if they saw one. However, the use of buildings frequently changes over time and a Court of Appeal decision in a leasehold enfranchisement case revealed just how tricky it can be to define exactly what is, and is not, a house. The case concerned a large Edwardian townhouse and mews annexe...

High Court Overturns Unlawful Housing Zone Designation

In response to the extreme pressure on housing stocks in the London area, a system of housing zones has been introduced to deliver thousands of affordable new homes. However, in a decision of importance to property professionals, the High Court has overturned Bromley town centre’s designation as a housing zone. The scheme is designed to unlock and accelerate...

Flats Development Founders on Planning Condition Rock

Conditions attached to planning permissions can be highly restrictive and can even prevent changes of use that would otherwise be automatically permitted. The Court of Appeal made that point in scotching a developer’s hopes of converting an office block into 127 studio flats. The block dated from the 1980s and, after over 30 percent of its offices fell vacant,...

Life Made a Misery By Noisy Neighbours? You Are Not Powerless!

If your life is blighted by noisy or abusive neighbours, a good lawyer can restore your peace and ensure that the wrongdoers are punished. In one case, a social tenant whose next-door neighbours were assailed by loud music, shouting, swearing and banging received an eight-week prison sentence. The mother of three children had been arrested several times for...

Couple Ordered to Demolish House Built Without Planning Permission

Planning laws are complex and, before putting one brick upon another, it is always wise to seek professional advice. In one case that proved the point, a couple who almost doubled the size of their country cottage without planning permission were ordered to demolish the entire building. The couple had knocked down a large part of the cottage and replaced it with...