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.
District Judge Julie Cooper, sitting at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court, has upheld the decision of the London Borough of Southwark to revoke a convenience store’s premises licence following allegations of illegal workers being employed in conditions akin to “modern slavery”. Peckham Food and Wine had been found, on six separate occasions, to be employing illegal immigrant workers. A broom cupboard was being used as sleeping quarters for two workers who slept on a filthy mattress with only a small electric fan for ventilation. They were being paid a salary well below the minimum wage. Read more
The Westminster Magistrates’ Court has upheld an appeal against a noise abatement notice issued by Westminster Council for an alleged statutory nuisance created by the playing of ‘loud amplified music and speech’ at a domestic property. The allegation of statutory nuisance was based on the subjective judgment of an environmental health officer having observed a single incident of noise for a period of 15 minutes. While it is not a requirement of the Environmental Health Act 1990, the Judge was critical of the Council for not taking any noise recordings of the incident. Read more
The High Court has quashed the grant of planning permission on appeal for a housing development on a greenfield site adjacent to the village of Blean, in Canterbury. The challenge was brought by Canterbury City Council on the basis that the Inspector had misinterpreted relevant policies in the development plan and therefore failed to apply the s.38(6) duty. The policies in question supported housing development on allocated sites and on previously developed land within villages. They were permissively worded and did not contain any express restriction on housing in other locations. The Inspector concluded that in the absence of any restrictive wording, the proposed development on an unallocated greenfield site was not in conflict with those policies. Read more
Following a heavily contested hearing before Ealing’s licensing sub-committee on 21 June 2018 the Council has refused to renew the Sex Entertainment Venue (SEV) Licence of LA Confidential, the London Borough’s only remaining lap-dancing club. The case has attracted national media interest. LA Confidential has operated for some 11 years. In January 2018 an anonymous letter was sent to the licensing authority by a former dancer at the club. She complained of breaches of the dancers’ code of conduct, drug-taking, financial exploitation of dancers by the management, sexual acts taking place between dancers and customers out of view of the CCTV, and complicity by the door security who took bribes to turn a blind-eye. Read more
At a packed meeting of Tewkesbury Borough Council on 19/6/18 the popular live music festival was granted a licence for its new site in Brockworth. There was substantial local and police objection to the new site which would have allowed the festival an increased capacity of 10,000 people for the three day August Bank Holiday. The previous licence had been for 2250. The Council granted the licence for the hours sought, together with the new capacity. Witcombe Cider Festival was represented by James Rankin of Francis Taylor Building. Read more
Somerset County Council has accepted the recommendation of an inspector following an inquiry lasting almost three weeks into an application to register as a village green land at Norton St Philip in Somerset. The application site was almost five hectares but only a small part of the application site – one corner – is to be registered. The application was rejected in relation to the great majority of the land, including all the land proposed for housing development. The inspector concluded that there was no qualifying use of the bulk of the site, once account was taken of use referable to defined paths, both public rights of way and other well-walked routes. Read more
In a significant victory for residents of the Foxhill estate, Bath who have campaigned against the demolition of their homes and redevelopment of the estate for 5 years, on Wednesday 20 June 2018 Mr Justice Lewis handed down judgment in R (Buckley) v Bath and North East Somerset Council. The local authority had granted planning permission for the demolition of the existing estate of 542 homes and their replacement with 700 new dwellings, resulting in a net loss of 204 units of social housing. Read more
The Secretary of State has dismissed the proposal for a new settlement of up to 2,068 dwellings with associated infrastructure on 114.7 ha of land at the former RAF Wisley Airfield near Guildford in Surrey – which closed in 1979 (read the decision and Inspector’s report here). Development at the site, which is in the existing Green Belt, was very controversial and was called in for determination and heard at inquiry over a number weeks in September and October 2017. Read more