Primavera claimed damages of some £1.7million from the Council, due to what it alleged was negligent conduct in the latter’s handling of a series of planning applications for residential development on a site in Radlett, Hertfordshire.
The Council twice granted planning permission, only for those permissions to be quashed by way of judicial review proceedings brought by a neighbouring landowner. A third determination took a substantial period of time before permission was again granted. Primavera alleged negligence on the part of the Council in terms of its failure to grant a lawful permission within a reasonable period, claiming extensive damages due to the increased development costs occasioned by the delay (in particular as regards the introduction of CIL and the revision of policy relating to affordable housing provision).
The judge heard factual and expert evidence, before determining that whilst there were instances where the Council’s conduct had fallen below that to be expected of a reasonable planning authority, the Council owed no duty of care to the Claimant and no damages were payable. Further, the judge concluded that in respect of the majority of damages claimed, the losses had not been proved.
Alexander Booth KC was instructed by Clyde & Co together with Michael Walsh of Tanfield Chambers, on behalf of Hertsmere Borough Council and Zurich, its insurers.
The judgment can be found here.