25 April 2016

Trumped! Planning Seminar

Last Wednesday evening, the Planning team welcomed James Maurici QC and Sasha Blackmore of Landmark Chambers, together with 40 external guests, at a seminar to discuss a series of recent cases on the interpretation of planning conditions.

The law appears to have moved on such that words can now be implied into conditions.  This could have far-reaching consequences for property and funding practitioners.  The first case, in the Supreme Court, involved Donald Trump's unsuccessful battle to try and prevent a wind farm development which will be visible from the Trump International Golf Links course in Aberdeenshire.  This was followed by a case involving the slightly less scenic town centre retail offering in Skelmersdale, and a handful of other cases up and down the country from Yorkshire to Dorset. 

All appear now to be agreed that, in certain circumstances, words can be implied into conditions, and even entire conditions could be implied.  There are many important questions which these cases throw up: how do you discharge implied conditions?  How do you convince a purchaser that there are no implied conditions that need discharging?  How would a Council go about enforcing for breach of an implied condition?  Many of the attendees left saying they were going back to their desks to check over draft conditions they are currently negotiating.  Developers should take note  - in the past, if a Council failed to draft a condition correctly a developer could benefit from the omission; now, the change in the law means that a developer could be required to do something which is not referred to specifically on the face of a planning permission. 
The event was a real success, and the team will be looking to roll out similar events in the future. 

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