Welcome to the latest edition of E:gen, Winckworth Sherwood’s Regeneration and Development Newsletter.
In this edition we look at the breach of development tolerances, planning for utilities at a new development site and the appropriation of land for planning purposes.
If you have any questions please get in touch with the authors who are happy to discuss these topics further.
Breach of development tolerances
Development contracts often contain a level of ‘tolerance’ to allow the developer a degree of flexibility during the build process. For example, the parties may agree that the floor space of a building may be up to 5% smaller than the expected size. When the agreed level of tolerance is not met, the contract may provide for a price adjustment. If not, you may expect that the purchasing party would be within its rights to terminate the contract. However, the courts have come to an interesting decision in the recent case of Mears Limited v. Costplan Services (South East) Limited and others.
Prior Planning Prevents Perilous Piping!
It is critical for developers to consider at an early stage of any development how utilities will service their site. Despite sites often having the benefit of apparently extensive easements to cater for the laying of service media, there can be some unpleasant surprises when dealing with utility providers.
Two scenarios are relatively commonplace:-
A site has the benefit of rights over neighbouring land in third party ownership to install, connect to and maintain services over and through that neighbouring land; and
A developer owns the land it needs to service the site, but its ownership is under a lease. Such leases would typically include rights for the developer, as leaseholder, to install and maintain service media.
The Appropriation of Land for Planning Purposes
It is widely known that local authorities have statutory powers to acquire and allocate land for specific purposes under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990).
It is perhaps less widely known that local authorities are able to convert certain third party property rights into a right to the payment of compensation in order to enable a development to take place in accordance with a planning permission by either (i) transferring the allocation of land from its existing purpose to another (typically planning purposes) or (ii) acquiring land for planning purposes. This is known as ‘appropriation’.