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News and Resources

Below is a selection of news items, case notes, articles, books and papers authored by members of Chambers.

There is also a separate Archive of Inspector’s Reports in respect of applications to register new town or village greens.

Alexander Booth QC

Authority’s Rejection of Housing Supply ‘Standard Methodology’ upheld with Costs

Following a two week Public Inquiry, the decision by Central Bedfordshire Council to assess its Five Year Housing Land Supply figure (5YHLS) with reference to an Objective Assessment of Need (‘OAN’) rather than the Government’s ‘Standard Methodology’ has been vindicated. Read more

Alexander Booth QC

Successful Minerals Challenge in rare ROMP Appeal at Oxted Quarry

In a decision letter dated 7 April 2020, a Planning Inspector has allowed an appeal brought by a minerals operator in respect of planning conditions imposed pursuant to periodic review. In finding comprehensively for Southern Gravel Ltd in the appeal proceedings brought pursuant to Schedule 14 of the Environment Act 1995, the Inspector Roger Catchpole rejected the case of the minerals planning authority, Surrey County Council, regarding conditions imposed in respect of operations at Oxted Quarry. Read more

George Mackenzie

“Right sized” Bingo Club Valued According to Valuation Scheme

The Lands Tribunal have dismissed an appeal brought by Buzz Bingo – the UK’s largest bingo club operator – in which they sought a reduction in the rateable value of one of their bingo clubs in Birmingham. The club had been reduced in size by around 1/3 during the 2010 list in response to the decline of the bingo industry following the smoking ban and the recession. Read more

Douglas Edwards QC
George Mackenzie
Philip Petchey
Ned Westaway

Important New Guidance on the Meaning of “Curtilage”

In Hampshire County Council v Secretary of State for the Environment [2019] EWHC 959 (Admin), the High Court (Holgate J) has given important new guidance on the meaning of curtilage.  Read more

Sarah Sackman

High Court Reaffirms Exclusivity Principle, Striking Out Abusive Part 8 Permitted Development Rights Proceedings

In striking out the claim form in T & P Real Estate, Limited v London Borough of Sutton PT-2019-000766, the High Court has acted firmly against abusive claims by developers who seek to circumvent the proper avenues for challenging local authority planning decisions.    Read more

Sarah Sackman

Central Bedfordshire’s Approach to Reject Standard Methodology in Favour of its SHMA Upheld in Dismissal of Gladman’s Henlow Appeal (Again)

A refusal by Central Bedfordshire Council of planning permission for 135 homes on agricultural land on the outskirts of Henlow has been upheld on appeal by the Secretary of State’s inspector, Diane Lewis (appeal ref: APP/P0240/W/16/3164961). Read more

Cain Ormondroyd

Rate Refund Decision: Partial Occupation is Not Rateable Occupation

A ratepayer has secured a large refund of rates by establishing that it was not in rateable occupation when the rates were paid. Another party was in occupation of other parts of the premises. In Atos IT Services Ltd v Fylde BC [2020] EWHC 647 (QB) the High Court ruled that this meant that neither party was in rateable occupation, and as such the ratepayer was entitled to a refund in principle (which the local authority subsequently agreed to provide, with costs). The judgment reviews all the authorities on partial occupation going back to the nineteenth century and is due to be included in the law reports.  Read more

Douglas Edwards QC
Horatio Waller

Cambridgeshire Agri-tech Park Appeal Dismissed

On 9 April 2020, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government dismissed an appeal against the refusal of planning permission by South Cambridgeshire District Council for a large business park proposed for the Agri-tech sector on open farmland near Hinxton. Read more

Ned Westaway
Cain Ormondroyd

Court of Appeal Clarifies Approach to s.73A TCPA 1990

The Court of Appeal has remotely handed down its first electronic-only planning judgment under the Covid-19 Protocol: Hook v SSHCLG [2020] EWCA Civ 486. The case related to the decision of a planning inspector to refuse an appeal relating to an application made under s.73A for the erection of an occupational worker's dwelling “ancillary to use of the land for agricultural purposes”.  The problem was that neither the local planning authority, nor the planning inspector, considered that the building was justified by an agricultural need, or was otherwise “for agriculture” for the purposes of NPPF policy on the Green Belt. Read more

Mark Westmoreland Smith

Development Consent Granted to SP Manweb Plc

On 20 March 2020 the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy granted development consent for the construction and operation of a new 22.5km 132kv electrical circuit between SP Manweb’s existing substations at Oswestry and Wem in North Shropshire, following an examination and a report recommending the grant of development consent. Mark Westmoreland Smith acted for SP Manweb. Read more