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How to Approach Outline Planning Applications? Court of Appeal Guidance

A great many applications for planning consent are submitted in outline, with details of proposed developments left over for consideration at a later stage. In an important ruling, the Court of Appeal analysed the extent to which planners’ hands are tied by the limited scope of such applications. A developer had applied for outline permission in respect of a...

Landlord Sees Off ‘Sham’ Comparable Rent Accusation

Making comparisons between similar properties is the standard means of assessing appropriate levels of rent payable on commercial premises. The practice came under scrutiny by the Court of Appeal as a landlord defeated claims that it had entered into a sham lease at an artificially inflated rent in an attempt to push up its returns on other properties that it...

Rare Planning Condition to Protect Shopping Centre’s Viability Is Valid

Planning permissions can be subject to a wide range of conditions that are designed to minimise harm and maximise public benefit. In a guideline decision, the Court of Appeal confirmed the validity of a very unusual condition that was designed to protect the vitality and viability of a shopping centre. As part of an urban regeneration scheme, a local authority...

Basement Extension Engineering Works – Is Planning Consent Required?

Do the often noisy and dirty engineering works involved in creating basement extensions require planning permission in their own right? The High Court tackled that burning issue in blocking plans for a subterranean living space in Central London. The property concerned was neither listed nor in a conservation area. The proposed extension was modest and would...

Expert Resolution of Boundary Dispute ‘Final and Binding’

Neighbours engaged in boundary disputes would generally be wise to submit their differences to an independent expert for resolution, rather than fighting it out in court. However, as one High Court case underlined, it is important to remember that their decisions are final and binding, warts and all. The case concerned a narrow strip of land between two suburban...

Land Owners’ Rights Must Sometimes Bow to the Public Good

The rights of property owners are often viewed as constitutional in their sanctity – but even they sometimes have to give way to the general public good. In one case that illustrated the point, a commercial property owner could not prevent the compulsory acquisition of a strip of its land to make way for an urban regeneration scheme. In making the disputed...