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Challenge to General Vesting Declaration

Saira Kabir Sheikh QC

The decision of Wyn Williams J in R (Iceland) v Newport City Council [2010] EWHC 2502 (12 October 2010) is important because:

  1. It affirms that a GVD is susceptible to judicial review on all Wednesbury grounds, including collateral purpose. This is a warning to acquiring authorities not to suppose that they can simply go ahead with vesting regardless of whether the reasoning behind the original CPO may have lapsed.
  2. It shows that the challenge is likely to fail where the acquiring authority - as on the facts of this case - still plans to achieve the objects of the CPO, albeit more slowly than originally envisaged and with a different development partner. This will be a relief to acquiring authorities whose schemes have been partially frustrated by the financial and economic downturn of the past three years.

Newport City Council was represented by Charles George QC and Saira Kabir Sheikh; Iceland by Robert Fookes (all of FTB).