Hunt and others v Optima (Cambridge) Ltd and others

Building Construction. The Technology and Construction Court considered a claim by long leaseholders in a block of flats, against, among others, the firm of architects responsible for developing the flats and the company employed to inspect the premises with a view to providing certificates to potential purchasers to confirm the quality of the construction. The court held that the repairing covenant covered, among others, the claimants, and that the architects had owed a duty of care to the claimants. The costs of remedial work would be allowed, as well as damages for each claimant proportionate to their loss.

Singh and another v Akhtar (administratrix of the estate of Basharat Hussain deceased)

Easement Right of way. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that a judge had been entitled to find that the claimants had established an interference with their right of way over a disputed parcel of land. The defendant had failed to adduce any evidence to support her contention that the land had been acquired by the local authority as a highway at public expense.

R (on the application of Baker) v Bath and North East Somerset Council and another

Town and country planning Permission for development. The interested party, H Ltd, operated a waste composting site. The claimant lived near the site. Following the quashing of various planning permissions due to the fact that para13 of Sch 2 to the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999, did not properly implement European Union law, with the result that applications required to be screened, H Ltd continued to operate the site in the manner that would have been permitted by them. The Secretary of State made positive screening directions and accordingly, there were before the respondent authority three live applications for planning permission which would, if granted, operate with retrospective effect. The purported environmental statement submitted by H Ltd was inadequate and 14 months later, the authority decided that H Ltd ought to have a further three months to present a complete environmental statement and the issue of whether an enforcement notice should be issued was withdrawn from the agenda. The claimant sought to challenge the decision by way of judicial review proceedings. The Administrative Court, in dismissing the claim, held that there was no duty on the authority under EU law immediately to issue an enforcement notice in the circumstances and, notwithstanding the court's initial misgivings, on the evidence, the authority had reached a fair, reasonable and proportionate decision on the relevant issue.

*Uprichard v Scottish Ministers and another

Town and country planning District plan. The Supreme Court, determining an appeal from the Inner House, Court of Session, held that the appellant's objections to the validity of a structure plan submitted by the planing authority responsible for Fife and, in particular St Andrews, had been adequately considered by the first respondent Scottish Ministers, and the Ministers had given adequate reasons for rejecting the objections.

*Salvesen v Riddell and another

Agricultural holding Tenancy. The Supreme Court held that s72(10) of the was outside the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament and had been incompatible with art1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights, in circumstances where a landlord had been unable to benefit from s73 of the 2003 Act.

Johnson and others v Old

Landlord and tenant Assured tenancy. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the defendant tenant's appeal against the decision of a county court judge overturning an earlier decision dismissing the claimant landlords' claim for possession. The court rejected the defendant's contention that a payment made at the commencement of the tenancy, pursuant to a requirement in the tenancy agreement that the first six months rent were to be paid in advance, had to be treated as a 'tenancy deposit' for the purposes of s21(8) of the .

R (on the application of Catt) v Brighton & Hove City Council

Town and Country Planning Development consent. The defendant local planning authority granted development consent based on an Environmental Impact Assessment screening process that had been conducted in June 2011. The claimant opposed the grant of development consent for nearby land. The claimant contended that the June 2011 screening process had been flawed. The authority admitted to conducting a flawed process and carried out a second screening process that also concluded that the development was not an EIA development. In December 2012, two subsequent planning permissions were granted in respect of the same site. These subsequent permissions had been based on screening processes conducted in August 2012 and November 2012. The claimant issued two applications for judicial review, one concerning the August 2011 permission and the other concerning the two permissions granted in 2012. The essence of both claims was that the screening opinions had been unlawful. Aside from the admitted flaws in the June 2011 screening process, the Administrative Court held that the authority had otherwise conducted impeccable screening processes and the claim for judicial review in respect of the December 2012 permissions would be dismissed. Further, although the August 2011 permission had been granted unlawfully and the second screening opinion could not remedy a flawed process. In the circumstances of the instant case, the court would not exercise its discretion to quash the August 2011 planning permission.

Shebelle Enterprises Ltd v Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust Ltd

Landlord and tenant Covenant. The Chancery Division refused the claimant's application for an interim injunction preventing the defendant trust from granting consent for a basement extension unless and until certain steps had been taken. The court held that the instant action was not a proper means by which to resolve the dispute, and no grounds had been shown for interfering with the decision-making process of the trust. Summary judgment was given for the defendant trust.

RWE Npower Renewables Ltd v J N Bentley Ltd

Building contract Construction. The Technology and Construction Court considered the wording of documents relating to a contract between the parties to construct hydro-electric facilities in Scotland. The court held that a declaration would be made stating that to achieve completion of the second section of the works, the defendant company would be required to undertake certain engineering work.

R (on the application of Burridge) v Breckland District Council

Town and Country Planning Planning permission. The defendant local authority granted the interested party two planning permissions for a biomass renewable energy plant and a combined heat and power plant. The claimant applied for judicial review on the basis that a further screening opinion under the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999, should have been carried out. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division dismissed the claimant's appeal against the judge's decision to dismiss her application. There was no reason to interfere with the judge's findings, which had been properly open to him in the circumstances of the instant case.