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Property Law Journal: 30 May 2011

A recent case brings the focus back to facts and evidence, finds Robert Horne

An issue that raises its head in many projects, be they construction related or not, is the completion of the project to the timetable originally agreed. The more complex the project, the more difficult it can become to manage the process. If control of the project is lost it will be difficult to establish what went wrong and whose fault it was.

Nabarro LLP

Penny Moore looks at the issues pertaining to oversailing and why it is a concern for developers

On a tight city centre construction site, the use of a tower crane may be the most practical construction method for maximising the footprint of the building and the efficiency of its construction. Indeed it may be the only physically possible solution. Developers and their contractors should, however, be aware of certain key issues likely to flow from the use of tower cranes, particularly in densely populated areas, namely:

Sarah Youren considers the various means being employed by the coalition government to tackle the shortage in housing

The coalition government is coming up with scheme after scheme to try and ensure that more housing is created in England. While previous measures such as the New Homes Bonus and Neighbourhood Plans have focused on new build housing, the latest proposals concentrate on facilitating the conversion of other types of buildings into residential dwellings. Firstly, a consultation paper has been issued proposing that permitted development rights should be introduced to allow a change of use from office, industrial, research and development premises, and warehousing to residential without the need to seek planning permission. Secondly, a proposal has just emerged this week to suggest that rural councils should permit redundant agricultural buildings to be converted to residential dwellings. These suggestions to create new housing are not without their problems as we will see below; in particular they seem to ignore the need to balance the creation of new homes with job creation in order to create a sustainable community and ensure that residents have local employment opportunities to allow them to earn the money to pay for these houses.

Andrea Tithecott examines recent cases where the Court of Appeal has considered the duties of occupiers where contractors have been appointed to carry out work

Two decisions published in February 2011, Kmiecic v Isaacs [2010] and Ceva Logistics Ltd v Lynch & anor [2011], both concerned civil claims for injury damages where the court was asked to consider whether the occupier, rather than the contractor, was in control of works.

Laurie Heller reviews the issues to be considered when dealing with insurance policies

Such is the organisation of the insurance industry and its sales practice that arrangement for the cover of different interests in property is neither fully understood nor, it seems, fully protected. Policy conditions are rarely examined in depth by property owners and the language used in them is obscure. Attention to detail is often absent, particularly as cover is effective immediately, but the policy of insurance is issued some time later. The drafting of policy conditions is often poor. The industry is notoriously inflexible and unwieldy, with form and working procedures slavishly followed, substance subordinated to form and change only slowly introduced.

Forsters LLP

Jamie Kidd finds Stephen Jourdan and Oliver Radley-Gardner’s Adverse Possession an invaluable guide for all practitioners

The first edition of Adverse Possession (which confirmed the law up to 31 July 2002) was well timed. It was published shortly after the House of Lords handed down their decision in JA Pye (Oxford)Ltd & ors v Graham & anor [2002], which settled a period of uncertainty for this difficult area of law. It was also published shortly before the changes that would follow on from the implementation of part of the Land Registration Act 2002 on 13 October 2003, and it attempted to anticipate the contribution that this legislation would make. Pye confirmed the law as it applied to cases where the requisite period of adverse possession was completed before the application of the Human Rights Act 1998 (1 October 2000), but the position was left open regarding cases completing after then and going forward. The first edition therefore provided considerable assistance for the many practitioners who were confused by the turbulence caused by Pye and concerned by the legislative changes that were imminent.

Anne-Marie Lusty assesses the new law, and what practical steps can be taken to consider going forward

Real estate agreements have recently ceased to enjoy special exemption from competition law.