Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Property Law Journal: November 2015

Laura Nation considers the Chancellor’s proposals for devolution and their implications for planning and development. Are they an attempt to reintroduce regional strategies?

On 5 October 2015, the Chancellor restated the Conservative Party’s commitment to a ‘devolution revolution’. While the headlines focused on the devolution of business rates to local councils, this is but one of the powers to be shifted away from Whitehall. Indeed, the latest announcement has been billed as the most widespread devolution in the UK since the establishment of the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament and is part of a wider approach to devolve powers in relation to welfare, the NHS, transport and, crucially, strategic planning to city regions.

Basement extensions have brought with them a host of party wall issues. Stephen Bickford-Smith and Andrew Smith examine a case concerning ‘special foundations’ for the purposes of the Party Wall Act 1996

The explosive growth in the construction of basements in London and elsewhere has given rise to a corresponding increase in litigation as adjoining owners seek to protect their properties and to curb the extent of the building owners’ works. Those works of course require planning permission. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for example, where many high-value properties are situated, has adopted restrictive planning rules limiting the extent and depth of such basements.


Alan Watson reports on the Chancellor’s announcement on rates at the Conservative Party conference earlier in October

Calls for root and branch reform to the business rates system have been growing steadily louder in recent years and, seemingly, the government has started to listen.

Anthony Gold

The new Regulations came into effect at the beginning of October. David Smith analyses their practical implications and highlights some problems

On 1 October 2015, the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force for all residential tenancies in England. These Regulations have had a tough battle through Parliament and remain controversial. They impose a significant obligation on landlords, backed by civil penalties.

Forsters LLP

Charlotte Ross explores a case concerning forfeiture of a head lease where the court refused to grant relief

When the court is asked to consider an application for relief from forfeiture, it often has the difficult task of balancing the rights of the landlord under the lease with the need to find a proportionate solution which will give the tenant an opportunity to retain its leasehold interest.

John Starr

John Starr reviews recent cases highlighting that the courts will only interfere with irrevocable obligations, such as bonds, in exceptional cases

Traditionally, on-demand bonds have been seen as just that: payable on demand, whatever the underlying dispute.

Will strategic regional planning ever return to the English planning system? Daniel Murphy investigates how the current planning system could be improved

One of the key themes arising from discussion at the 2015 Joint Planning Law Conference in Oxford was the absence of regional strategic planning policy and the difficulties that are being experienced by local government, legal and planning professionals and the wider industry in being able to drive forward development plan preparation and adoption.