Town and country planning Trees. The claimants wished to fell trees on land forming part of their wider estate. The claimants contended that the land was subject to Forestry Commission supervision. The local authority did not agree on the basis that they considered the land to be public open space by virtue of an historic right of free access that had been granted many years previously. The claimants contended that the public right of access had lapsed by virtue of the non-registration of rights in common. The authority made a tree preservation order as the only method of preventing uncontrolled felling of the trees. The claimants issued judicial review proceedings, contending, inter alia, that the tree preservation order was inappropriate because the land was not land over which the public had access rights, and-or that the making of the tree preservation order was unnecessary or had been procedurally unfair. The Administrative Court dismissed the application finding that the rights of access were conceptually distinguished from the rights in common, thus the right of access had not been extinguished for want of registration. A tree preservation order was the only appropriate mechanism to prevent the uncontrolled felling of the trees, and, in the circumstances of the present case, the making of that order had not been procedurally flawed.
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.
Landlord and tenant Service Charge. The claimant was the leaseholder of a flat in a development. The defendant management company discovered that the gas for a swimming pool in the development was being provided by T instead of E when T issued an invoice for payment. The defendant included a charge in respect of the gas cost in the claimant's service charge. The claimant commenced proceedings challenging that charge. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the claimant's appeal and held that the gas cost had not been incurred for the purposes of s20B of the until it had been paid or an invoice had been presented.
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.
Landlord and tenant Leasehold enfranchisement. The claimants were lessees of a property which comprised a ground floor shop and first floor storage. They were refused consent of the defendant freehold owner to convert the first floor into a residential flat. They carried out the conversion works anyway and then sought to purchase the freehold of the property under the . When the defendant refused, they commenced proceedings in the county court. Their application was dismissed, first, because the judge found that the property was not a 'house' for the purposes of the Act and, secondly, because the claimants had only been able to invoke the Act by having carried out the conversion works in breach of a covenant in the lease and they could not take advantage of their own wrongdoing. The claimants appealed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that the judge had made no errors in his approach or his application of the law.
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.
Town and country planning Development. The claimant was the owner and occupier of a barn in relation to which the defendant authority served planning enforcement notices, but not within the requisite period of time required by s172(3)(b) of the . The claimant wished to appeal against the notices and instructed a planning consultant, who served the appeal notices, but out of time. The claimant sought to persuade the authority to withdraw the notices and to re-issue fresh enforcement notices in order to give him an opportunity to appeal, but the authority refused. The claimant brought judicial review proceedings seeking to challenge the validity of the notices. The Administrative Court, in allowing the appeal, held that, on the ordinary principles of statutory interpretation, interpreting s174(2)(e) of the Act, which enabled an owner to appeal against a notice on the basis that it had not been served as required by s172 of the Act, the words had to be given a narrower meaning, namely where an enforcement notice had not been served at all, rather than where it had not been served in time. Accordingly, s 285 of the Act did not prevent the claimant from challenging the validity of the notices on the ground that the notices had not been served within the time required by s172(3). The claimant had been substantially prejudiced by the authority's breach of duty and the notices would be quashed.
Agricultural holding Arbitration. The Chancery Division dismissed the claimant's claim and refused to set aside an arbitration award pursuant to s68 of the . The court rejected the principle ground of appeal, namely that the arbitrator's reasoning had been inadequate.
Land Interest in land. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that a judge had erred in finding that the payment by the defendant and his wife of money to the claimant for the purposes of making a deposit of a property had not given rise to a beneficial interest in the property. It had been clear from the evidence that the defendant and his wife had intended, at some later stage, to purchase the property from the claimant, and the only intention that could have been drawn from the evidence had been that the defendant and his wife would have expected the sums paid to the claimant to have been taken into account on that hypothetical purchase.
Landlord and tenant Service charge. The Chancery Division considered the defendant's appeal against the striking out of his claim, in a matter relating to the funding of the claimant company, which managed a block of flats. The court held that the defendant's application to reinstate the claim would be allowed in part.