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

Over the next few weeks we’re going to let you in on our Top 6 developments in planning law from 2022.  These might not be the best known (or infamous) cases, but hopefully if you aren’t already aware of them they might provide you with food for thought.

The Supreme Court decision in the Hillside case – The problem of overlapping planning permissions

Top of the pile for us is the Supreme Court decision in Hillside v Snowdonia Natural Park Authority.  This looks at the perennial question: can you take advantage of two (or more) overlapping planning permissions over the same land, or do you lose the benefit of one of them by implementing the other one?Continue Reading Our top 6 Planning Law takeaways in 2022 – Part 1: The problem of overlapping planning permissions

Introduction

English property law has developed a sophisticated system of property rights in land, to enable joint ownership of land and to regulate successive interests in the same land over a period of time.  This was largely achieved by the recognition of an additional type of interest in land, separate from the legal title. An equitable interest could, in certain circumstances, be untethered from the legal title and become a separate right.  This is seen most often in situations where two or more parties own land together.  They are joint legal owners – both names will appear on the title register – but they also hold the entire beneficial interest on trust for each other.Continue Reading No going back: the transfer of beneficial interests in land

EDIT 22.11.2022: as this post went to press, the Appeal Court departed from the view of both the High Court and the County Court, and proclaimed a strict orthodoxy.  They held that the judge below had asked himself the wrong question; he should have asked whether the notice had been given to the tenant, not what the notice had meant.  The appeal shows that the utmost care must be taken when serving break notices, as the court will show no leniency if the notice is incorrect.  

Ensuring a break notice is validly served can be critical, especially for fixed break dates as without a rolling break option there is only one ‘bite of the cherry’ to break the lease. The consequences of serving an invalid break notice may be drastic, for example, it may fetter a landlord in obtaining vacant possession in order to carry out a development scheme or a tenant may remain liable for a lease that it no longer wants and cannot get rid of in any other way.Continue Reading Nelsonian blindness is no defence to a break notice