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Commercial Property News

Home-Made Joint Venture Agreement Leads to Disaster

Written on April 24, 2014 at 6:00 am

Budding property developers tempted to dispense with legal assistance in drawing up contracts should take note of a High Court case in which a businessman paid a crushing price for signing his name on a ‘home-made’ joint venture agreement. Businessman A had agreed that he would provide the building expertise needed for the renovation of… Read More »

What is a ‘Construction Contract’? – Court Gives Guidance

Written on April 10, 2014 at 6:00 am

In a decision which helps to define the legal concept of a ‘construction contract’, the High Court has dismissed an attack on the jurisdiction of an adjudicator who awarded more than £800,000 to a subcontractor engaged in fabricating and installing pipe-work for a biomass combined heat and power plant. The plant was designed to provide… Read More »

No Insurance Payout for £700,000 Warehouse Fire

Written on April 7, 2014 at 6:00 am

In a warning to all that the fine print of insurance policies is well worth reading, a furniture company that suffered losses in excess of £700,000 in an arson attack on its warehouse will go uncompensated – after falling behind on payments to the firm that monitored its burglar alarm system. The High Court had… Read More »

Court Green Lights Energy from Waste Development

Written on April 1, 2014 at 6:00 am

An attempt by campaigners to stall construction of an incinerator and energy from waste facility has failed after the High Court rejected pleas that a local authority’s blunder had circumvented proper consideration of environmental issues and public participation in the planning process. The campaigners submitted that, as a result of the council’s error, developers had… Read More »

South-East Housing Shortage Triggers High Court Row

Written on March 19, 2014 at 7:00 am

The burning debate over how the south east of England’s acute need for more new homes is to be met formed the background to a High Court dispute in which a giant insurance company challenged a local authority’s refusal to allocate its strategic land-holding for housing development. Zurich Assurance Limited (Zurich) took action after Winchester… Read More »

Wind Turbines and Heritage Buildings

Written on February 20, 2014 at 7:00 am

In a case which underlined the special regard that planners must have to the setting of heritage buildings, a local authority has succeeded in its High Court challenge to plans for an 86-metre high wind turbine, which it claimed would spoil the surroundings of prized local monuments. In overturning a Government planning inspector’s decision to… Read More »

Supreme Court Defines Aggravated Trespass

Written on February 7, 2014 at 7:00 am

Shops and other commercial premises targeted by campaign groups will be afforded greater protection in future after the Supreme Court upheld the aggravated trespass convictions of two men who invaded a cosmetics store that they believed took its supplies from Palestinian territory occupied by Israel. The shop specialised in selling products based on minerals from… Read More »

Supreme Court Rules on Town or Village Greens

Written on February 6, 2014 at 7:00 am

Property developers whose plans are frequently thwarted by registration of land as a town or village green can take encouragement from a Supreme Court decision which significantly eases the path to rectification if such registrations are wrongly granted. Two plots of open land had been registered as town or village greens under the Commons Registration… Read More »

Higher Education Institutions Face VAT Hike on Residences

Written on February 5, 2014 at 7:00 am

HM Revenue and Customs have issued a notice withdrawing the extra-statutory concession relating to new student residences from 1 April 2015. The concession allows universities and other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to ignore vacation use of residences when determining whether or not the residence is intended to be used solely for a ‘relevant residential purpose’… Read More »

New Public Procurement Rules Announced

Written on January 24, 2014 at 10:14 am

New procurement rules for public bodies will affect businesses, especially those that have a chequered past. Under the new EU Public Procurement Directive, authorities placing contracts will be able to consider social criteria in making their decisions. Indeed, the Directive states that the price should no longer be the ‘central determining factor’ for placing contracts.… Read More »