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Agreed a time extension on a refused prior approval?

Brendon Lee
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Have you been refused prior approval for permitted development following an agreed extension of time in the last three years? If so, you may have an implementable planning permission. The recent decision of the High Court in Warren Farm (Wokingham) Ltd, R...

Change of use of commercial property - what's the process?

Brendon Lee
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In an ideal world, it would be possible to convert a commercial property from one type of business to another with minimal fuss and procedure. However, change of use often requires a surprising amount of paperwork and a firm grasp of the legal factors...

Planning Applications - what happens if you're refused permission and how can you challenge such decision?

Brendon Lee
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If you think a council planning department has made an incorrect decision regarding your application, or if you haven’t received a decision on your application within the prescribed period, you can request that the Planning Inspectorate examines the...

Landowner carries the can on illegal waste

Brendon Lee
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The accumulation of an illegal waste wood stockpile in Devon has resulted in the landowner facing prosecution and the clean-up bill, after he was held responsible for knowingly permitting the activities of his tenants. The facts of the case The land was...

East West Rail - Public consultation opens on the Bedford-Cambridge line

Brendon Lee
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The East West Rail is a new railway line that will connect Oxford and Cambridge, linking them with Bicester, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Bedford and many communities in between. It will be constructed in two sections: the Western Section between Oxford and...

Statutory Blight and Public Infrastructure Schemes: part 3 - Alternative options

Brendon Lee
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In this third and final part of our introduction to statutory blight and how it can arise when local authorities and public bodies are promoting their infrastructure schemes, we provide some suggested alternative options similar to, but outside of, the...

Statutory Blight and Public Infrastructure Schemes: part 2 - Claims procedure

Brendon Lee
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In the second instalment of this three-part article, which provides an introduction to statutory blight and how it can arise when local authorities and public bodies are promoting their infrastructure schemes, we explain the procedure steps that may arise...

Statutory Blight and Public Infrastructure Schemes: part 1 - Know your rights

Brendon Lee
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In this three-part article, we aim to provide you with an introduction to statutory blight and how it can arise when local authorities and public bodies are promoting their infrastructure schemes. In this first part, we take you through the legal concept of...

Buying 'bona vacantia' land from a dissolved company

Brendon Lee
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If you want to acquire and develop neighbouring land or an adjacent highway but the company landowner has been dissolved, it’s important to know your options. Here’s the scenario. You have an interest in purchasing unused land suitable for...

Ignore restrictive covenants at your peril! - Intentional breaches may jeopardise retrospective s84 applications for their modification

Brendon Lee
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The Court of Appeal has fired a shot across the bows of housing developers who attempt flout the terms of restrictive covenants which prevent construction on certain sites. Such covenants are regularly knowingly breached by development, particularly if they...

NPPF2 - Changes made to the draft consultation...and a few surprises sprung

Brendon Lee
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Having digested the contents of the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF2), issued by the government in late July, it’s evident that some significant changes have been made to the original NPPF. Among the new policies outlined, the...

Heathrow Third Runway: Could you be entitled to serve a blight notice?

Brendon Lee
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Whether you support or oppose a third runway for Heathrow Airport, the Government appears committed to continuing with the legal processes for its final approval and implementation. An important recent step for landowners is the Government’s adoption...

Assets of Community Value: the new village green for protection of informal open spaces? - Part 3

Brendon Lee
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In this final part of my mini-series of articles on ACVs, I will assess their potential role in resisting development projects. Earlier in the series, I first looked at whether an informal open space can be classed as an ACV and then in Part 2 compared ...

Assets of Community Value: the new village green for protection of informal open spaces? - Part 2

Brendon Lee
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In this second part of my mini-series of articles reflecting on ACVs, I compare the legal tests required for village greens and ACV. Previously, I looked at whether an informal open space can be classed as an ACV. Finally, I will be looking ahead to the...

Assets of Community Value: the new village green for protection of informal open spaces?

Brendon Lee
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Historically, village greens were the white knight for local community groups seeking to protect beloved open spaces. However, in recent years, the prospects of successful village green registrations have been eroded by evolving case law and new statutory...

5 top tips to make sure your planning application is granted permission

Brendon Lee
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Understanding exactly what is expected of you and what requirements you need to meet is vital when seeking planning permission to develop your property. Such criteria will differ from council to council, so it is important to maintain communication with your...

This is not a rubbish dump - the fly tipping blight

Brendon Lee
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At a time when correctly disposing of waste (especially industrial waste) is becoming more expensive, many unscrupulous traders and private individuals are choosing to fly tip rather than take their rubbish to a designated disposal site. That means the...

How to delist a listed cottage or building

Brendon Lee
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Listed buildings, whilst often attractive and brimming with character, may not always be seen as desirable purchases. They cause potential headaches for the new owners given the statutory limitations, and resultant additional costs, in carrying out...

Tree Hugging: What is the law surrounding protected trees and conservation areas?

Brendon Lee
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Barely a month goes by without a local newspaper recording the infringement of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). These are often accompanied by protestations from the accused claiming they had no idea that a TPO was in place and, more frequently, detailing...

Environmental Impact Assessments - what is involved?

Brendon Lee
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The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 (“the 2017 Regulations”), in compliance with EU Directives, govern the legal requirements for EIAs in the context of developments granted planning permission under...

Brownfield land - is it the answer to tackling the housing crisis?

Brendon Lee
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Between 2011 and 2031, it is estimated that 245,000 new homes need to be built to meet current demand, according to figures released by The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA). This has opened a debate about the importance of regenerating brownfield...

Sign of the times - do you need planning consent for a sign?

Brendon Lee
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Everyone knows that planning permission may be needed for a house extension, adding a new building to a business complex, or even putting up a large wall. But did you know that you may also need planning consent for an advertisement sign? It all depends on...

The inside track on compulsory purchases

Brendon Lee
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The completion of the controversial HS2 train link project may seem a long way down the track. However, for the many people whose homes will potentially be swallowed up by the new routes, the impact of HS2 is very real and pressing. Given the green light...

Housing White Paper: Government's vision for reforming the planning system

Brendon Lee
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On 7 February 2017 the Government published its Housing White Paper - Fixing Our Broken Housing Market - which sets out its vision and programme for reforming the perceived long standing problems in the housing market and ensuring more homes are built in the...

Breach of planning control? Served with an enforcement notice?

Brendon Lee
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It is important to know your rights and options, and those of the local planning authority, where there is an alleged breach of planning control. What is breach of planning control? A breach of planning control is where a person carries out development...

Ever paid S106 contributions to the council for a planning permission? You could be due a refund

Brendon Lee
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In 2014, a BBC investigation revealed that councils in England were holding £1.5 billion of unspent S106 financial contributions received from developers. The BBC said that its investigation had also revealed that over the previous five years...

Does your property suffer from flooding? Has your property been damaged by flooding?

Brendon Lee
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Where your property suffers from flooding outside of your control it is important to understand your legal rights to prevent such flooding. Likewise, where property has been damaged by such flooding, you may be entitled to compensation. Responsibility for...