One of the key parts of the Building Safety Act 2022 is the new Gateway regime for ‘higher risk buildings’, which came into full force on 1 October 2023  This is a three step approval process that is intended to ensure that, in the post-Grenfell landscape, building safety risks are properly scrutinised by the new Building Safety Regulator (the “BSR”) at the planning, design and construction phases of a development of a ‘higher risk building’ (or when carrying out  works to an existing ‘higher risk building’). Continue Reading Getting to grips with the new Building Safety Act Gateway regime – how will this impact development in the living sector?

In a recent decision of the High Court in R (Aysen Dennis) v London Borough of Southwark, Holgate J held that an outline planning permission for a large-scale mixed use regeneration project in South London could not be regarded as “severable” so as to allow a developer to carry out one phase of the development under a separate “drop-in” permission.

The developer had obtained outline planning permission in 2015 for the regeneration of the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark. Following the grant of the permission, the Council’s Local Plan adopted policies increasing the requirement for new homes and affordable housing. To meet these new requirements the developer needed to exceed the parameters for development (including height of buildings) approved under the outline permission. They obtained a separate “drop-in” permission to allow this but wanted to build out the rest of the development under the outline planning permission.Continue Reading High Court judgment restricts use of “drop-in” permissions

The Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 (the “Act”) was intended to give tenants security of tenure to carry on their businesses without the disruption of relocation and the attendant risk of loss of goodwill. However, the interests of the landlord in maximising the value of its own premises were also considered in the Act, with provision that a landlord may recover possession if (amongst other grounds) it can prove the intention to redevelop the premises. A recent High Court decision has provided an interesting (and from a landlord’s perspective, welcome) steer on the weight the court gives to a landlord’s future right to redevelop.Continue Reading Landlord gets second chance after missing crucial date in lease renewal proceedings

The Curry Mile in Manchester is a stretch of the Wilmslow Road, leading from the city centre to the suburbs. It is lined with restaurants, cafes and shops from all parts of the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. Afghan restaurants rub shoulders with Bangladeshi sweet shops and continental stores display fruit and vegetables on pavement stands to tempt in the passers-by who are a mix of locals and students from Manchester’s two universities.

Compliance with planning regulations is not the chief concern of the restauranteurs, bartenders and shopkeepers, but a very recent sentencing decision of HHJ Timothy Smith at Manchester Crown Court illustrates starkly that a landlord cannot allow its tenant to disregard planning controls and ignore planning enforcementContinue Reading “Hot” Rent – Landlord finds rent confiscated as proceeds of crime

In the last of our blogs on developments in planning law in 2022, we consider the extent to which you can change the development for which planning permission has been given without the need to make a new application for a full planning permission.

The Reid Case – The facts

The issue was considered in the High Court case of Reid v Secretary of State for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities (2022) (“Reid“).Continue Reading Our top 6 Planning Law takeaways for 2022 – Part 6: How to get a new planning permission without applying for it

In the fifth of our blogs on recent developments in planning law, we turn our attention to the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022 introduced by Jacob Rees-Mogg at the height of the Truss premiership in September 2022. 

Described by Professor Michael Zander KC as “one of the worst pieces of legislation I can remember in some 60 years of following the law-making process“, the Bill seeks to deliver on the Brexit promise of taking back control of our legislation.Continue Reading Our top 6 Planning Law takeaways for 2022 – Part 5: Retained EU Law Repeal Bill

Admittedly, a blog on the intricacies of the Community Infrastructure Levy (“CIL“) doesn’t sound like a very appealing prospect, but everyone needs their medicine occasionally.

In December 2022, the Court of Appeal had to consider the legal consequences of a local authority’s failure to serve a CIL liability notice and the question of whether the local authority could correct the defects in an earlier notice by serving a revised CIL liability notice.Continue Reading Our top 6 Planning Law takeaways in 2022 – Part 4: What happens if the local authority gets its CIL paperwork wrong?

We often get asked, when clients are faced with obstinate and, frankly, slow local authorities dealing with planning applications or s106 agreements, whether we can threaten legal action (other than planning appeals).  Most of the time this is just letting off steam, but what is the answer?

A recent 140-page judgment in the case of Primavera v Hertsmere Borough Council (2022) considered if, and in what circumstances, a local planning authority might be liable for negligence for the way it dealt with a planning application.Continue Reading Our top 6 Planning Law takeaways in 2022 – Part 3: What to do when the planners delay

In the second of our blog posts on some key developments in planning law in 2022, we look at some new proposals set out in a Consultation published in December 2022 on how to stop landbanking.  These come on top of some new provisions known as the “use it or lose it” clauses in the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill which is slated to become law in spring of this year. 

The process of landbanking, whereby landowners obtain planning permission (thereby securing an enhanced value for their landholdings) but fail to implement (or at least substantially complete) a permission, has long been identified as a problem, particularly in the residential sector.  The problem is now acute with the lack of suitable and affordable housing availability.Continue Reading Our top 6 Planning Law takeaways in 2022 – Part 2: Proposals to stop “landbanking”

“Pay Now, Argue Later”: tenant-friendly interpretation of service charge provisions provides grist for disputes

Introduction

This case is of interest because commercial service charges are very rarely reviewed by the Supreme Court.  The majority decision gives a surprisingly tenant-friendly view on what was a very traditionally worded service charge schedule.  As a result, landlords are now at risk of more pushback and argument from their tenants about the service charges they pay.Continue Reading Sara & Hossein Asset Holdings Limited v Blacks Outdoor Retail Limited [2023] UKSC 2