Doubts over Validity of Parking Agreements Dispelled by Court of Appeal

Industrial street sceneThe 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 internal conversion of a house so as to provide eight flats in place of the existing five. The developer entered into an obligation that no one who occupied the three additional units would apply for a parking permit. It also paid a one-off monitoring fee of £500 so as to enable the borough to police the ‘no permit’ obligation.

A couple who were tenants of one of the existing flats faced having their lease terminated under a redevelopment break clause if the conversion went ahead. Their judicial review challenge to the planning permission was upheld by a judge on the basis that the borough had no power to enter into the parking agreement.

In upholding the borough’s challenge to that ruling, the Court found that it did have the required power by virtue of Section 16 of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974. That section gave the borough authority to enter into agreements under seal in connection with land that would be enforceable against the current landowners and their successors in title.

The borough’s receipt of the monitoring fee was also legitimate and the couple’s challenge to an alternative planning permission in respect of the same property, that would not have increased the number of flats, was also rejected.