June 7th, 2024 by James Goudie KC

In R ( WILKINSON ) v ENFIELD LBC ( 2024 ) EWHC 1193 ( Admin ) it is held that the Council was entitled, under Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972 ( LGA 1972 ), to grant a 25 year lease of part of a park in its area to a professional football club, and to do so freed from a trust for enjoyment by the public under Section 164 of the Public Health Act 1875 ( the1875 Act ). The Council had a wide power under Section 123 of LGA 1972. However, for land forming part of an open space it had to fulfil the requirements of Section 123 ( 2A ) before it could lawfully dispose of such land under Section 123 ( 1 ). Conversely, having fulfilled those requirements, it could, as a result of Section 123 ( 2 B ), dispose of such land freed from any trust arising solely by virtue of the land being held in trust for the enjoyment of the public under Section 164 of the 1875 Act.

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