Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Hardy v Griffiths has lessons for what happens when a buyer fails to complete, as John de Waal QC and Katrina Mather find out

William Griffiths QC is a successful silk but was the unsuccessful defendant in the widely reported case of Hardy v Griffiths [2014]. Mr and Mrs Griffiths had exchanged contracts with the claimant, Mr Hardy, to buy Laughton Manor for £3.6m and paid £150,000 on account of the 10% deposit, the contract incorporating the Standard Conditions of Sale (SCS).

Katie Scuoler summarises the current state of play for large-scale solar development in the green belt

Since the start of 2016, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has dismissed every recovered appeal for large-scale solar development. Of these 13 dismissed appeals, nine were recovered for determination by the Secretary of State because they involved significant development in the green belt. Two repeating themes emerge in the reasons for refusal: inappropriate development in the green belt and a lack of compelling evidence to justify the use of high-quality agricultural land.

Amy Jackson examines a decision that gives key guidance on how to determine relativity

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has recently handed down the much awaited decision on three conjoined cases: The Trustees Of The Sloane Stanley Estate v Mundy & Lagesse; Aaron v Wellcome Trust Ltd [2016]. The cases concerned the lease extension claims of flats in prime central London, primarily considering the question of how relativity should be calculated in such leasehold enfranchisement claims.

Jonathan Hulley outlines the implications of the proposed Bill of Rights for social landlords

Plans announced in the Queen’s Speech to scrap the Human Rights Act 1998 and replace it with a British Bill of Rights could have housing and asset management implications for social housing landlords.

Bryan Johnston, Emma Frost, Katie Paul and Emma Broad report on a case that weighs up the right to carry out works against that of quiet enjoyment and derogation from grant

The recent High Court decision in Timothy Taylor Ltd v Mayfair House Corporation [2016] demonstrates that even a widely-worded lease reservation permitting a landlord to undertake works will be qualified by the landlord’s quiet enjoyment and non-derogation covenants, so as to require the landlord to take all reasonable steps to mitigate the impact of the works on the tenant. Depending on the nature of the works, a landlord may well have to consider compensating its tenant for disturbance caused, even where the landlord has the right to carry the works out. As such, the case will be of interest to landlords and tenants alike.

In the second of two articles focusing on mediation, John Starr considers confidentiality and privilege

In last month’s column, I looked at the question of whether the enthusiasm of the courts for mediation as a means of dispute resolution in the UK construction industry was affecting access to justice. I came to the conclusion that the benefit to society as a whole of removing low-value construction disputes from the court system probably outweighed any perceived injustice to the participants in those disputes, even if it meant that, as a result, they were denied the opportunity for public vindication.

Laura Nation examines the implications of the National Infrastructure Commission’s proposed planning rule changes

The National Infrastructure Commission (the NIC) was set up in 2015 by the Chancellor George Osborne to consider the UK’s strategic case for additional large-scale transport infrastructure in the capital. In a report published on 10 March 2016, ‘Transport for a World City’ (the report), the NIC recommended that Crossrail 2 be taken forwards by the government as a means of alleviating pressures on London Underground lines, commuter services at major Network Rail stations and insufficient orbital links. Further, given the predicted increase in London’s population to over ten million by 2030, an increase of 1.4 million over today, (see the ‘London Infrastructure Plan 2050: Transport Supporting Paper 2014’), Crossrail 2, and its ability to promote housing growth, is being hailed as an antidote to the chronic housing shortage in London and the surrounding areas.

Jamie McKie casts a critical eye over the latest expansion of permitted development rights

What are permitted development rights? Section 59(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 empowers the Secretary of State to make development orders granting deemed planning permission for certain development which would otherwise require express planning permission. The rights enshrined in such development orders are known as permitted development rights (PDRs). PDRs can be subject to specific conditions and limitations.