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Mark Westmoreland Smith
The High Court (Mrs Justice Lieven) has handed down judgment in R (oao Wiltshire Council) v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and Mr W Howse [2020] EWHC 954 (Admin). The hearing was one of the first to be held remotely under the COVID-19 protocol. The judgment is of some importance in that it lays down the proper interpretation of the words “subdivision of an...
Alexander Booth QC
A Development Consent Order has been granted in respect of the Riverside Energy Park project, in Bexley, South East London. Following submission of the application in 2018 by Cory Environmental Holdings Ltd, the Examination into the project was held between April and October 2019. The Examining Authority reported in January 2020, and despite the current procedural difficulties the Secretary of...
Alexander Booth QC
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.  Indeed, not only did the Inspector dismiss the appeal in his decision letter dated 16 March 2020, regarding proposed...
Alexander Booth QC
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...
George Mackenzie
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.    Buzz claimed that the so-...
Douglas Edwards QC
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. The issue arose in the context of an application under the Commons Act 2006 but the decision is of wider significance. The Court held that the guidance in Calderdale (1982) should be confined to listed building cases...
Sarah Sackman
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.    The claimant developer sought a declaration that it was entitled to Class O permitted development rights in respect of its...
Sarah Sackman
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). The section 78 appeal, brought by Gladman Developments Limited, was re-determined after the High Court quashed an earlier inspector’s dismissal of the appeal...
Cain Ormondroyd
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...
Douglas Edwards QC
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. The scheme was promoted as an opportunity to provide a substantial amount - 112,000 sq.m. - of new floorspace for...

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