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Legal briefs: Oxfordshire arson attacks, £1.5m land banking scam

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

A round-up of legal news: 31 January-6 February, 2015

Andrew Main returns to court over Oxfordshire arson attacks

A man has reappeared in court accused of arson following a series of fires in Oxfordshire. The blazes include one that caused large-scale damage to council offices that housed the joint planning services for South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils. Andrew Main, 47, of Rockmart Farm, Rockmart, is charged with four counts of arson. He appeared at Oxford Crown Court last Friday by video link from Bullingdon Prison, but did not speak. The case was adjourned until 10 April.

BBC News

£1.5 million land banking scam shut down by the Insolvency Service

Gilbert Webb Estates Limited, which marketed residential-sized plots of undeveloped land in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, to the public as an investment opportunity, has been ordered into liquidation by the High Court following an Insolvency Service investigation. The company was found to have continued a land banking scheme previously carried on by Complete Building Systems Limited and other companies.

UK Government

High Court quashes 90-home approval owing to wrong application of green belt rules

A High Court judge has quashed Broxbourne Borough Council’s outline consent for the redevelopment of a former nursery in the Lee Valley Regional Park because the planning officer’s report to members dealt incorrectly with green belt issues. The scheme must now be redetermined.


Able Marine Energy Park: Court rules in favour of turbine factory

A High Court legal challenge by Associated British Ports (ABP) over development consent for Able UK's Marine Energy Park near Immingham has failed.

BBC News