Thursday, 4 November 2010

Watching and waiting


There are several topics on which I am itching to comment, but at the time of writing they are still ‘in the pipeline’.

The judgment of the High Court in the Cala Homes case is expected daily. This is the challenge which Cala Homes and a couple of other developers brought against the cancellation of Regional Spatial Strategies. If I were asked to make a small wager on the outcome, I would suggest that this challenge probably won’t succeed, but you never know.

Also this month, the Court of Appeal is due to hear the appeal in the Herefordshire polytunnels case about which the NFU got so excited when permission to appeal was granted in the summer. If judgment is reserved, we may have to wait until next month for the result.

The major event this month which everyone is eagerly awaiting is the promised publication of the Planning & Local Government Bill (which the government insists on calling by the rather silly name of the “Decentralisation and Localism Bill”). This is likely to be a major piece of legislation in terms of its length and complexity, and so I would not be at all surprised if the timetable were to slip.

Finally, I am wondering what happened to Mr Fidler’s intended appeal to the Court of Appeal against the judgment of Sir Thayne Forbes in February. This, you may recall, is the case involving the concealment of development behind a pile of straw bales. It is not the question of concealment which is in issue in this case (on which the Court of Appeal has already made a clear ruling in the Welwyn-Hatfield case) but whether removal of the straw bales to reveal the new dwelling in all its glory was an integral part of the development, so that the development was not substantially completed (as per the judgment of the House of Lords in Sage) until that had happened.

Meanwhile I have lots of work to get on with, so I shan’t be twiddling my thumbs while we wait for news of these various matters.

© MARTIN H GOODALL

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