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Tribunal Untangles Litany of Drafting Errors in Housing Estate Leases

The reason why drafting leases is a job for specialist lawyers is that any ambiguity or unfortunate wording can store up trouble for the future. In one case, a litany of errors in the drafting of flat leases in respect of a housing development gave rise to not just one, but two, sets of hard-fought tribunal proceedings. The development consisted of three...

Restrictions on Use of Holiday Homes – Court of Appeal Lays Down the Law

Many thousands of holiday homes are subject to planning restrictions that forbid their occupation all the year round or as principal residences. Such rules are sometimes taken with a pinch of salt by their owners, but a Court of Appeal ruling showed that they must be taken seriously. The case concerned a number of properties that lay within a country park. They...

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...