London Borough of Newham v Ali and others

Injunction Breach of covenant. The defendants were trustees over land on which they had established a mosque. The local authority served an enforcement notice for breach of planning control and the defendants had appealed. During the appeal hearing, the defendants entered into a unilateral deed whereby they covenanted to: (i) submit a valid planning application for development of the land, and (ii) remove the buildings from the land should they fail to comply with the requirement to submit a valid planning application. The defendants failed to submit a valid planning application and the authority sought an injunction ordering specific performance of the covenant to remove the buildings from the land. The High Court allowed the application and ordered specific performance.

Feeney v Secretary of State for Transport

Town and country planning Permission for development. The Administrative Court held that conditions imposed upon planning permission for the development of works to the railway between Oxford and Bicester, and for the construction of a new length of railway running close to the Oxford Meadows special area of conservation, which included lowland hay meadow habitat present in sites of special scientific interest, had been appropriate and that no appropriate assessment under Council Directive (EEC) 92-43 (on the Conservation of Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora) (the Habitats Directive) and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2012, was required.

*Re Harlequin Management Services Ltd

Administrator Appointment. A London based company, Harlequin Management Services Ltd, was an international property investment agent, specialising in luxury resorts in the Caribbean. The directors of the company instructed solicitors to give notice of intention to appoint administrators and the notice was filed in May 2013. An issue arose as to whether the administrators had been validly appointed as the requisite consent from the Financial Conduct Authority had been filed the day after the notice of intention to appoint administrators. The directors and the administrators applied for a declaration that the appointment was valid. The Chancery Division, Companies Court, held that, applying settled law, on the proper construction of of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, a consent filed on the day after the filing of a notice of intention to appoint administrators could still be said to have been filed 'along with' a notice of intention to appoint or to 'accompany' the notice of appointment. Accordingly a declaration would be granted that the administrators had been validly appointed.

R (on the application of Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd and another) v Environment Agency

Water and watercourses Flooding. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the appeal of the Environment Agency, upheld a finding that it failed properly to interpret, apply or have regard to its own policy when it classified sluices on the Manchester Ship Canal as 'formal' flood defences on the ground that their 'primary' purpose was flood prevention, with the effect that land, which was owned and proposed for development by the claimants, had been at a higher risk of flooding. The sluices were an integral part of the canal, serving a dual purpose of providing flood defences and navigational purposes for the canal, but the defendant had not been entitled, applying its own policies which distinguished between 'primary' purposes and 'secondary' purposes of flood defences, to find that, by having a dual purpose, the sluices had had dual 'primary' purposes.

R (on the application of Watson) v Richmond London Borough Council and another

Town and country planning Permission for development. The interested party obtained planning permission for a proposed redevelopment of Twickenham rail station. The claimant applied for judicial review of the grant of planning permission on the basis, inter alia, that the defendant local authority had failed to take into account a material consideration in the form of a report (the TAP report). The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the claimant's appeal as the failure of the authority's planning committee to take the TAP report into account had not amounted to a breach of the statutory duty to have regard to material considerations.

Hammersmatch Properties (Welwyn) Ltd v Saint-Gobain Ceramics and Plastics Ltd and another

Landlord and tenant Business premises. The Technology and Construction Court considered issues arising from the dilapidation of a property of which the first defendant company, SG, was the freehold owner, and the claimant company, Hammersmatch, was the successor landlord. The court held, among other things, that the damages payable to Hammersmatch would be limited by of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 to the diminution of the reversion, which would be assessed at 900,000.

*Seagrain LLC v Glencore Grain BV

Contract Damages for breach. The Commercial Court considered an appeal arising out of the repudiation of a contract to sell wheat between the claimant sellers and the defendant buyers. The claimant had contended that measures taken by Ukranian customs had the effect of restricting the export of wheat and that, accordingly, the contract was cancelled and they were discharged from liability to perform by virtue of the prohibition clause. The GAFTA Board of Appeal had upheld the defendants' claim for damages for wrongful repudiation of the contract by the claimants, having found that there had been no actual restriction on exports per se. The claimant appealed. The Commercial Court, in dismissing the appeal, held that a seller did not have to show an outright ban on exports to come within the prohibition clause. Whether such circumstances could fall within the prohibition clause depended on the particular facts. The Board had been fully entitled to reject on the facts their case that the requirements of Ukranian Customs constituted an executive act within the meaning of the prohibition clause.

R (on the application of Samuel Smith Old Brewery Tadcaster) v Selby District Council

Town and country planning Conservation area. The defendant local authority had granted itself planning permission for improvement to a town centre car park situated within a conservation area. The claimant opposed the planning permission and contended that the planning officer's report upon which the decision had been made was seriously flawed and the decision to grant planning permission was therefore unlawful. The Administrative Court rejected the criticisms of the planning officer's report, finding that the report contained a careful and lawful analysis of all relevant matters and the application for judicial review would therefore be dismissed.

Farrelly (M&E) Building Services Ltd v Byrne Brothers (Formwork) Ltd

Arbitration Adjudication. The defendant was the main contractor under a contract with London Underground Limited in respect of the refurbishment of Hammersmith Underground Station. The Queen's Bench Division, Technology and Construction Court allowed the claimant's application for summary judgment and held that, in the circumstances, the defendant had no real prospects of successfully defending the enforcement of the adjudicator's decision.

*TSG Building Services plc v South Anglia Housing Ltd

Building contract Adjudication. The claimant and the defendant entered in to a contract for the provision by the defendant of a gas servicing and associated works programme. The claimant subsequently terminated the contract. The defendant referred a dispute to adjudication in respect of its entitlement to damages for breach of contract. The adjudicator made an award in favour of the defendant. The defendant applied to enforce the adjudicator's award. The claimant applied for various declarations. The Queen's Bench Division, Technology and Construction Court held that an adjudicator had jurisdiction to resolve all the issues put before him. It further held that, on the proper interpretation of the contract, the defendant had no entitlement to damages for breach of contract. Accordingly, the adjudicator had erred in his decision.