Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Is there now a presumption that reasons be given for planning decisions, asks Jamie McKie

Within the last year, we have seen a surge of significant cases in which an absence of reasons being given for planning decisions has proved to be decisive. This happened despite the abolition in 2013 of the statutory duty to give reasons for the grant of planning permission. While the contexts have varied – ranging from delegated decisions, environmental impact assessment (EIA) development and planning committee decisions contrary to officer recommendation – the outcome has been the same each time: reasons for granting permission should be given.

Laura Williamson highlights the pros and cons of the proposed register for foreign property-owning companies

Disclosure of beneficial ownership for foreign companies that own property in England and Wales is a developing area of law to watch. The vast majority of UK companies (with some exceptions for listed companies where there is not the same concern about control) have been required to keep a register of people with significant control (PSCs) since April 2016 and, by June 2017, should have submitted their register to Companies House, where it will be made available for public view.

Edward Gamble discusses key factors to consider in a claim for relief from forfeiture for non-payment of rent

The ability to forfeit a lease to bring it to an end for non-payment of rent, or another breach of the tenant’s covenants, is a powerful enforcement tool for landlords dealing with tenant default.

Jessica Parry explains the importance of expert evidence in business lease renewals

Flanders Community Centre Ltd v London Borough of Newham [2016] reminds property litigation practitioners of the importance of expert evidence in business lease renewals.

Will Densham and Kanchan Adik look at new energy efficiency rules and their impact on rent reviews

Rent review surveyors have been having a busy time over the past few years with rents continuing to rise. Rents are expected to continue to be higher than they were five years ago at lease grant or at the previous review for a few more years, depending on the impact of the UK’s decision to leave the EU and other global macro-economic influences from near and afar.

John Starr discusses the lessons to be learned from forming oral contracts

I wrote recently about a case where the need for a properly documented construction contract was compelling (‘A minor matter?’, PLJ346, November 2016, p21). It was the case of Goldsworthy v Harrison [2016], where the parties’ failure properly to agree the terms of the contract between them meant that it was not clear what those terms were and, specifically, whether they included an adjudication clause. Without an adjudication clause, the contract fell within the residential occupier exception in s106 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 and adjudication was not available. As such, Goldsworthy’s attempt to enforce an adjudicator’s decision in its favour failed.

Rachael Herbert examines recent decisions concerning the role that strategic environmental assessments play in the plan-making process, and the consideration of reasonable alternatives

There has been a spate of recent cases concerning the requirement for plan makers to consider ‘any reasonable alternatives’ as part of the plan-making process and the role Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) plays in how that should be approached.

Jeremy Stephen considers why s20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 is overdue for amendment

Consultations under s20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (the Act) and its regulations have become a fact of life for landlords in the residential sector. However, the regulations which operate without too much difficultly in the more straightforward residential scenarios have become stretched in recent years.