Welcome to the ‘bumper’ edition of our Planning, Environment and Property newsletter in time for the Opening of the Legal Year on 1st October 2021. It is all too easy to look back at this time last year, which ushered in further darker days before the relative dawn we have experienced of late, and feel that hesitancy again. However, come what may there have been an extraordinary number of interesting cases and a constant feed of proposed legal and policy reforms in the Planning Environment and Property world to keep us occupied! We intend in this new series of Newsletters to provide you with a mixture of commentary on what is in the policy and law reform pipeline, as well as reflecting on the latest cases of note.
In this edition, Stephen Tromans QC and Victoria Hutton consider a landmark recent decision by Fordham J on the duties of the Environment Agency under the Human Rights Act 1998. Daniel Kozelko provides an update on costs at the permission stage, following the Supreme Court’s decision in CPRE Kent v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  UKSC 36. Philippa Jackson considers the vexed question of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, which have come under the Court’s spotlight again in R (HHRC Ltd) v Hackney Borough Council  EWHC 2440 (Admin). Celina Colquhoun writes about an enforcement case, Bansal v SSHCLG  EWHC 1604, in which Katherine Barnes acted, which highlights the thorny issue of the difference on the one hand of the creation of a dwellinghouse and on the other its ‘use’ as such in order to establish material change of use to a dwellinghouse for the requisite enforcement immunity period under s.171B.
In addition, Celina Colquhoun picks up from her work on the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) panel and its recommendations with a short analysis of the implications of the first two clauses of the Judicial Review and Courts Bill which is due to have its second reading in October.
Finally, Ruth Keating gives us a “taster” of a series of articles to come on the progress of the Environment Bill, as it makes its way through the final stages of the parliamentary process.
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