*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.

Champion v North Norfolk District Council and another

Town and country planning Development consent. The defendant local authority granted planning permission for the development of a site that was in close proximity to the River Wensum; a site of special scientific interest. The authority consulted with Natural England and concluded that an environmental impact assessment and a habitats appropriate assessment were not required as there was no risk of contamination. However, the authority imposed conditions on the planning permission that required the monitoring of water quality and measures for remediation if the river became contaminated. The Administrative Court held that the planning permission would be quashed as it was not rationally possible to impose conditions which pointed to a risk of contamination but, at the same time, adopt the view that there was no relevant risk of pollution.

Hunt and others v Optima (Cambridge) Ltd and others

Practice Interest. The proceedings concerned defects in a block of flats, which had been constructed by the first defendant company (Optima) and assessed by the second defendant architect's firm (S&P). The Technology and Construction Court found for the claimants at an earlier hearing (see ). The court held that interest on the sums payable to the claimant by S&P would be at a rate of base rate plus two per cent, although no interest would be paid on the main sums payable by Optima. The court further held that the claimants would be entitled to 90% of their costs of the proceedings.

Bowring and another v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and another

Town and country planning Enforcement notice. The appellants challenged the decision of an inspector for the Secretary of State to require the removal of one kitchen to remedy the appellants' breach of planning control. The Administrative Court, in allowing the application, held that the inspector had not addressed the question of whether or not the installation of the kitchens had in fact been undertaken for a different, lawful use. The matter would be remitted to the inspector as there was insufficient evidence to indicate that there had been only one answer to that question.

National Merchant Buying Society Ltd v Bellamy and another

Guarantee Liability of guarantor. Stephen Mallett had given a personal guarantee in respect of a line of credit that had been extended to a company of which he was a director. After Mr Mallett had sold his shares in the company, that line of credit had been further extended before the company went into creditors' voluntary liquidation. The claimant society, which had extended the credit, sought to enforce the guarantee. Mr Mallett contended that he had been discharged from the guarantee because of the extensions to the credit limit to which he had neither consented nor had knowledge. The judge found that he remained liable. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed Mr Mallett's appeal, finding that, on the true interpretation of the guarantee, his liability had continued.

R (on the application of Houghton and Wyton Parish Council) v Huntingdonshire District Council

Town and country planning Development plan. The claimant parish council sought judicial review of the defendant district council's decision to implement a framework for planning guidance. The Administrative Court, in allowing the application, held that the framework did not contain a site allocation policy and did not need to be adopted as a development plan document. However, policies within the framework ought to have been contained in a local development document and the court exercised its discretion to quash the framework.

Co-operative Group Ltd v Birse Developments Ltd

Particulars of claim Amendment. The claimant was owner of two warehouses which had been built by the defendant, with some of the work having been sub-contracted to a third party. The claimant was dissatisfied with the work carried out by the sub-contractor and issued proceedings against the defendant shortly before the limitation period expired. The claimant subsequently sought to amend its particulars of claim after the limitation period had ended. The judge permitted such a change, finding that the claim sought to be introduced in the amendment had not sought to introduce a new cause of action. The defendant and sub-contractor appealed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the appeal, finding that the amended claim had sought to assert a new cause of action.