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Michael Humphries QC
Judgment has been handed in down this morning in the case of R (on the application of Friends of the Earth Ltd and others) (Respondents) v Heathrow Airport Ltd (Appellant) [2020] UKSC 52 On 26 June 2018, the Secretary of State for Transport designated the Airports National Policy Statement ("ANPS") under section 5(1) of the Planning Act 2008. The NPS sets the national policy framework for the...
Sarah Sackman
The High Court has dismissed a judicial review challenging the lawfulness of guidance issued by the Parole Board in the wake of the John Worboys judgment which gives advice to its members on the consideration of allegations, including unproven allegations, which have been made against a prisoner.   In R (Dean Pearce) v Parole Board for England and Wales [2020] EWHC 3437 (Admin), the Claimant...
Mark Westmoreland Smith
The case concerned whether particular rooms in a vacant office building were in separate rateable occupation. The owners of the office building entered into an agreement with a site security company for the provision of property guardians to occupy the rooms for domestic use as a means of keeping the site secure prior to its redevelopment. It is fairly widespread approach to rates mitigation. ...
Merrow Golden
The Secretary of State has decided to make the Network Rail (Suffolk Level Crossing Reduction) Order subject to a number of modifications.  This is the second decision to be published by the Secretary of State concerning the three Level Crossing Reduction Orders simultaneously pursued by Network Rail in 2017 under the Transport and Works Act 1992. It follows the decision on the Cambridgeshire...
Merrow Golden
The Secretary of State has decided to make the Network Rail (Cambridgeshire Level Crossing Reduction) Order subject to a number of modifications.  This is the first decision to be published by the Secretary of State concerning the three Level Crossing Reduction Orders simultaneously pursued by Network Rail in 2017, covering Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex. The Inquiry into the Cambridgeshire...
Sarah Sackman
On 10th and 11th December 2020, the High Court will hear Lisa Smith v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government – which raises questions of significant public interest concerning discrimination against Gypsies and Travellers. Ground 1 concerns whether the definition of “Gypsies and Travellers” contained in Annex 1 of the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites 2015 is...
Isabella Tafur
Planning permission has been refused for 343 homes (including 58% affordable) and commercial space in the Olympic regeneration site and Opportunity Area of Pudding Mill. The London Legacy Development Corporation refused permission for the scheme on the basis of its poor design. Following a 7 day inquiry, the Inspector has dismissed the Appellant’s appeal. The scheme, designed by Hawkins Brown...
Gregory Jones QC
The High Court has quashed the grant of planning permission by Birmingham City Council for what would be the second tallest building in the city of Birmingham, a proposed 51 storey residential block in the city centre and in close proximity to the new HS2 station at Curzon Street, following a concession by the Defendant City Council acknowledging the unlawfulness of the grant. The application...
Alexander Booth QC
Dreamland Leisure Cinema Ltd  & Pavenham Holdings Ltd v Thanet District Council [2020] UKUT 0305 In a decision dated 17 November 2020 the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has rejected a claim for compensation against Thanet District Council, regarding interest which the claimant companies alleged had accrued in respect of a loan against premises which were compulsorily acquired. The proceedings...
Merrow Golden
Kent County Council has successfully prosecuted a large-scale developer for unlawfully obstructing, and disturbing the surface of, a restricted byway running through its development site. The developer had, inter alia, built buildings over the route of the highway, blocking its use for users of the rights of way network. The defendant organisation pleaded guilty to a breach of section 137 (wilful...

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