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22/01/2015

Legal briefs: High Court judge upholds legal challenge against communities secretary

Words: Roger Milne
Courtroom Gavel - legal changes that affect planners

A round-up of legal news: 17 January-25 January, 2015

Ministers lose High Court case over handling of appeals on travellers’ pitches

A High Court judge has upheld a legal challenge to the way in which the communities secretary and a junior minister approached the conduct of appeals relating to travellers’ pitches in the green belt. The judge found that challenges based on breaches of the Equality Act 2010 and of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to a fair trial within a reasonable time) were justified.

Local Government Lawyer 

Challenge by council to London super sewer plans dismissed as ‘out of time’

Four judicial reviews against the government’s development consent order for the Thames Tideway Tunnel (London ‘super sewer’) have failed. Two were dismissed and two failed because they were a day past the deadline for taking action.

Local Government Lawyer 

West Berkshire and Reading Councils join forces to challenge government changes to planning system

West Berkshire Council and Reading Borough Council have joined forces to seek a judicial review of the government’s move to limit the use of section 106 agreements - particularly with respect to affordable housing provision - to developments of 10 dwellings and above in urban areas, and five dwellings and above in rural areas.

Reading Borough Council 

Fine for homeowner who damaged listed building

The owner of a London Grade II listed building in Hampstead Garden Suburb who repeatedly ignored Barnet Council officers’ advice while carrying out building work has been fined £45,000 at Willesden Magistrates Court.

24 dash 

Barnfield incinerator rejection judged unlawful

Environmental services firm Veolia has won its High Court challenge to communities secretary Eric Pickles’ decision to block plans for a major energy-from-waste project at New Barnfield, near Hatfield in Hertfordshire. Pickles will now have to redetermine the scheme.

BBC News 

Court sides with council in Oxford Stadium judicial review

The Greyhound Racing Association’s challenge to Oxford City Council’s decision to designate the city’s former greyhound stadium as a conservation area has failed in the High Court.

Oxford City Council 

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