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The future for planning reforms: Moving to the next level?

Rebecca Crosdil considers the current state of play following the government’s proposals to ‘tear’ the current planning system down While there has been no official government confirmation that planning reforms have been put on hold, such reports can only increase the level of uncertainty that the housing industry, local authorities and local communities are currently …
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Construction focus: Professional indemnity insurance

Emily Holdstock and Oyin Ogunkanmi explore the current state of the professional indemnity insurance market and the practical steps that insureds and their clients can take to safeguard their respective interests during development The CLC noted a ‘widespread incidence’ of construction practices having to alter the kinds of work they undertake, or lose work, because …
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Curtilage – in or out?: Swanland Hall and the law following Blackbushe

Daniel Whittle, Olivia Heiniger and Adam Reeves consider a recent appeal decision and preceding authority relating to how the curtilage of a listed building is determined At appeal, one of the main issues to be decided was whether the cottage was within the curtilage of Swanland Hall. The answer to this question would determine whether …
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Ground Rent Bill: Bringing an old concept into a modern era

Matthew Weal considers the mechanics of the Ground Rent Bill and whether it achieves its aims The Bill is intended to restrict the payment of rents in qualifying future residential long leases such that these leases can make no financial demand in respect of a ground rent. The 2021 Queen’s Speech earlier this year marked …
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Planning decisions: A ‘proper whack’ mistake

Nicola Gooch considers how and if a mistaken planning decision can be rectified Local planning authorities simply do not have the legal power to unilaterally reverse a planning decision once it has been issued. Planning has had rather a torrid time in the press over the last few weeks. On 8 September, the Daily Mail …
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Boundary agreements: Fuzzy and uncertain

David Nuttall considers the High Court decision in Gibson v New and its potential consequences All taken together, it seems clear that Neilson v Poole is an authority for a boundary agreement being proprietary in nature, and binding on successors. In the recent High Court appeal of Gibson v New [2021], Murray J held that …
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Case study: Rent reviews

Clive Adams and Stathis Kosteletos consider a case where an index-linked rent review clause led to the rent increasing exponentially throughout the term of the lease When drafting agreements with clauses that are complex and do have mathematical elements to them, it is important to consider the wording of the agreement to ensure that they …
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Estoppel claims: Unconscionable behaviour

Mark Pawlowski considers whether bad behaviour on the part of an estoppel claimant will deny or modify equitable relief Unconscionability is an overarching element operating in proprietary estoppel claims. Although a proprietary estoppel claim will fail unless the claimant is able to establish the three essential elements of assurance, reliance and detriment, it is evident …
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Frustration: When can a construction contract be frustrated?

Proving that a contract is frustrated is never an easy task. The chances of success are dependent upon the facts of the particular matter, but assistance can be found in the case law, as Jennie Jones and Thomas Booth find out The primary way of recovering monies as a result of frustration is pursuant to …
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Dilapidations: How on earth do we get to zero carbon?

Jon Rowling explains why a new, greener approach to dilapidations needs to become a priority now As a dilapidations surveyor ‘on the ground’, over the years I have seen a great variety of building types, scopes of claim, approaches from the parties and different attempts at settlement. Across all of these variables there is one …
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