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Property Law Journal: July/August 2016

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.

Forsters LLP

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.

Hugh James

Rebecca Rees discusses how to avoid a surrender

A lease or tenancy can be surrendered at any time by agreement between the landlord and tenant. Where the parties are happy to agree an express surrender then there are some legal requirements which need to be met: the surrender must be by deed according to s52, Law of Property Act 1925 and, in the case of an agreement to surrender, s38A(4) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 must be complied with (if it applies), and the agreement must be in writing (s2, Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989).

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).

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.

John Starr

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.