Town or Village Green

October 18th, 2022 by James Goudie KC in Land, Goods and Services

The Commons Act 2006 (“the 2006 Act”) provides a right to apply for the registration of a town or village green (“TVG”) in relation to land which has been used as of right for “lawful sports and pastimes” for at least 20 years by a significant number of inhabitants of any locality, or neighbourhood within a locality.  One effect of the statutory protection given to a TVG is that most forms of development or precluded.  Because of concerns that the TVG registration system was being used to prevent development proposed or approved through the planning system, the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 (“the 2013 Act”) amended the 2006 Act so as to disapply the right to apply to register land as a TVG if one of a number of “trigger events” takes place. One such event is where a development plan document identifies the land in question “for potential development”.

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Land Disposal – R (Day) v Shropshire Council

March 29th, 2022 by James Goudie KC in Land, Goods and Services

The Supreme Court has given permission to appeal in R (Day) v Shropshire Council about a dispute over what happens when a local authority disposes of land which is subject to a statutory trust for public recreational services without complying with the relevant statutory requirements.


Adverse Possession

March 23rd, 2022 by James Goudie KC in Land, Goods and Services

Milton Keynes Council v Wilsher (2022) EWHC 578 (QB) restates, at para 5, the approach to be taken in determining a question of adverse possession : –

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Compulsory Purchase

September 21st, 2021 by James Goudie KC in Land, Goods and Services

R (Gardner) v Lancaster City Council (2021) R.V.R. 177 was concerned with a claim for additional compensation under Section 23 of the Land Compensation Act 1961. There were two issues. The first was whether planning permission could be deemed to have been granted within 10 years. The Judge, Martin Rodger QC, addresses the interpretation of “ deemed”. The second was whether a planning permission was granted for the purposes of the 1961 Act when a resolution to grant was passed subject to conditions such as entry into a Section 106 agreement. No, says the Judge, at para 49.


Recovery of Possession

July 12th, 2021 by James Goudie KC in Land, Goods and Services

Lambeth LBC v Grant (2021) EWHC 1962 (QB) concerns a claim by the Council as freehold owner of Clapham Common. Part of the Common has been occupied by individuals known and unknown. They have set up a camp. The camp has generated complaints from local residents. By this action the Council sought to recover possession of its land. It was held that the Council was entitle to an order for possession.
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Pension Fund Consequences of TUPE Transfers

May 27th, 2021 by James Goudie KC in Land, Goods and Services

When a local authority enters into a contract for services with a body that is admitted to the LGPS terms may be agreed with respect to pension risk. R (Enterprise Managed Services Ltd ) v SoS for MHCLG and Northamptonshire Councils (2021):1436 (Admin) concerns when the contract comes to an end and the contractor/employer exits the LGPS and there is a deficit in relation to the liability to pay benefits.

In this context the LGPS Regulations have been amended. Bourne J holds that the amendments are lawful. They are not invalidated as being unjustifiably and unlawfully retroactive and retrospective, contrary to any of common law, ECHR Arts 6, 14 and 1/1, or EU State Aid provisions.


Proprietary Estoppel

March 30th, 2021 by James Goudie KC in Land, Goods and Services

A claim for possession of land may be defeated by a proprietary estoppel that is satisfied by an irrevocable licence for life, even when a contract for the sale of the land had been oral. The requirements of Section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 probably did not affect proprietary estoppel, especially when the relief sought was not to enforce the contract. So held by Snowden J in Howe v Gossop (2021) EWHC 637 (Ch).



February 12th, 2021 by James Goudie KC in Land, Goods and Services

TW Logistics Ltd v Essex County Council (2021) UKSC 4 raised important issues about the law relating to Town and Village Greens under the Commons Act 2006, a much wider concept (para1) than the traditional village green, with registration having (para 2) important legal consequences. The central question on the unsuccessful appeal was whether registration in this case, under Section 15 of the Act, would have the consequence that the continuation of the landowner’s pre-existing commercial activities would be criminalised.

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Land Subject to Trust

December 23rd, 2020 by James Goudie KC in Land, Goods and Services

Local authority open space land is held for the purposes of public recreation, public access and public enjoyment pursuant to the Public Health Act 1875 and the Open Spaces Act 1906. The land is held subject to a statutory trust for those purposes. It is not however a trust in the usual private law sense. The land and the trust are inseparable.

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Charitable Trust

June 8th, 2020 by James Goudie KC in Land, Goods and Services

Brent LBC v Johnson (2020) EWHC 933(Ch) holds that an argument that a local authority is not free to sell a property that it owns because it is held on charitable trust for the local community can be advanced only in proceedings to which the Attorney General is party.