Local Authority Weekly Updates – 11th February

Local Authority Weekly Updates – 11th February

In this issue:






State aid and the post-Brexit trade agreement—what’s new, what’s not, and what’s next

State aid remained one of the key sticking points in Brexit negotiations right until the announcement of the Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) on Christmas eve 2020. One of the key priorities of the EU during the negotiations was to secure a ‘level playing field’ on State aid, in order to ensure that EU-based companies would not be competing with UK businesses that were in receipt of subsidies that did not conform to the subsidy limitation rules imposed by the EU State aid regime. The UK’s concern was its insistence that, post-Brexit, it must not be bound by evolving EU rules, including State aid guidelines, and should not be bound by the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice when it comes to interpreting and applying State aid rules. The TCA strikes something of a halfway house between these competing priorities—the fundamental rules of EU State aid law will continue to apply in the UK, albeit outside the Court of Justice jurisdiction. There are, however, some fundamental changes to the operation of the UK’s new regime. Genevra Forwood, Marc Israel and Kate Kelliher of White & Case LLP outline the changes and similarities to the UK’s new regime, the impact on EU and UK companies and the next steps.

See News Analysis: State aid and the post-Brexit trade agreement—what’s new, what’s not, and what’s next.


Brexit Bulletin—EU proposes extending provisional application of the TCA until 30 April 2021

The European Commission has published a proposed Council Decision on the position to be taken on behalf of the EU in the Partnership Council established by the Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) regarding an extension to the provisional application of the TCA. The TCA was initially signed, published and applied on a provisional basis without the full legal-linguistic revision. Under the current terms, provisional application of the TCA is due to expire on 28 February 2021 (unless extended). Taking into account the amount of time required for the EU to complete the legal-linguistic revision and authentication of the agreement in all languages of the EU, the proposal would allow the EU representatives to agree an extension to the provisional application until 30 April 2021 within the Partnership Council. Once adopted, the decision of the Partnership Council will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

See: LNB News 10/02/2021 92.


Brexit Bulletin—analysis shows £62.5m loss in tuition fee income from EU sources

The Department for Education has published a research paper studying the effect of Brexit on higher education institutions in the UK. Analysis was undertaken by consultancy group, London Economics, and research looks at issues, such as changes in tuition fees and policy change. Specifically, it studies the effect of tuition fee changes on international student enrolment, and the potential impact on EU students of removing the tuition fee loan and grant support, harmonising tuition fees for EU and non-EU students and changes to post-study work rights and the right to bring dependants.

See: LNB News 08/02/2021 91.






Anonymity under the Venables jurisdiction (D and F v Persons Unknown)

In D and F v Persons Unknown, Mrs Justice Tipples granted an order permanently preventing the identification of two young women convicted of murdering Angela Wrightson. Claire Overman of Doughty Street Chambers examines the judgment and considers the impact on the Venables jurisdiction.

See News Analysis: Anonymity under the Venables jurisdiction (D and F v Persons Unknown) and [2021] All ER (D) 44 (Feb).


Recording remote court proceedings—follow the rules or risk contempt of court (Finch, R v Surrey County Council)

Most lawyers will be aware of the prohibition against filming, recording or live streaming proceedings from a court room. What appears to be not so widely known is that this prohibition extends to making unauthorised recordings or images of remote court hearings, even when those hearings are being live streamed to the press and public. In this case, the BBC was fined £28,000 for contempt of court after including a short clip of a remote hearing as background footage in a news report. The judgment contains a useful summary of the legislation relating to recording proceedings generally and, in particular, the issues to be aware of in relation to remote hearings. It also provides guidance on the court’s approach to the appropriate penalty where, as here, the breach was held to be serious but of minimal harm and where an early admission of liability and apology were issued. Written by Harriet Campbell, professional support lawyer at Stephenson Harwood LLP.

See News Analysis: Recording remote court proceedings—follow the rules or risk contempt of court (Finch, R v Surrey County Council).


Court held deputy master had been required to carry out an assessment of the rights of the parties—Loveridge v Mayor and Burgesses of the Islington London Borough Council

In the case of Loveridge v Mayor and Burgesses of the Islington London Borough Council, the appellant's appeal against an order removing the previous defendant and making the appellant the defendant succeeded, in proceedings where the deputy master had not read the witness statements of the appellant and 20 other protestors at the site in issue. The Chancery Division held that the deputy master had been required to carry out an assessment of the rights of the parties, and, in the circumstances, he had been required to either adjourn to ensure that he was properly prepared, or to read the witness statements, in their entirety, to himself.

See: [2021] All ER (D) 33 (Feb).


DfT launches fifth round of First of a Kind competition

The Department of Transport (DfT), together with Innovate UK, has launched the fifth round of the First of a Kind competition, which calls on innovators to transform rail in the UK, making it more sustainable, cost-effective, cleaner and faster. There is £9m available to fund the winning projects. The competition focuses on 'developing pioneering technology and exceptional ideas that can improve journeys for passengers and decarbonise the rail network' and organisations have until 10 March 2021 to bid for funding. In 2020, 25 projects received a share of £9.4m funding.

See: LNB News 09/02/2021 80.


Report finds government’s ‘vague’ flood defence objectives puts people at risk

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee has published a report following an inquiry into the government’s approach to managing inland flooding risks in England and makes several recommendations to improve the existing ‘vague flood defence objectives’. Stressing the importance of improving flood defences across England, the report makes note that there are over five million properties at risk from flooding, and recommends that ‘clearly defined objectives’ should be set out, as well as a long-term budget for maintenance of existing defences.

See: LNB News 08/02/2021 33.


Wales looks to bolster resilience to climate change and flooding

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has stressed that increasing Wales’ resilience to climate change and flooding, and adapting to its effects, must be made an absolute priority by all if the nation is to reduce its vulnerability to extreme weather events. As the nation reflects on the one-year anniversary of the February 2020 floods triggered by Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge, and it is confirmed (by the Met Office) that February 2020 was the wettest February and fifth wettest month on record, the ‘growing and real threat of the climate emergency, which is projected to cause wetter, stormier winters, more intense rainfall in summer and sea levels to rise at an ever-increasing pace’ has become more apparent, says NRW. NRW has called on governments at all levels, businesses and individuals to ‘seize the opportunity to be more forward-looking in the search for solutions as Wales charters the best way forward to make its communities more resilient to flooding’.

See: LNB News 08/02/2021 83.


Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2021, SI 2021/117

Provisions are made to amend the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 which govern practice and procedure in the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the County Court. The amendment covers nine matters: vulnerable parties and witnesses; service of claims out of the jurisdiction; use of affidavits outside the proceedings in which they are served; accruing of interest on sums offered in settlement of a claim; enabling temporary modifications of rules to cater for emergencies; recognition of certain foreign judgments; (g) procedure in relation to the 'breathing space' scheme; consequential changes arising from previous amendments on contempt; other minor corrections and clarifications. References to a Part or rule by number alone are references to the Part or rule so numbered in the CPR in England and Wales. These Rules come into force on 6 April 2021.

See: LNB News 04/02/2021 45.


National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2021, SI 2021/Draft

These draft Regulations are laid to increase the single, main hourly rate of the National Living Wage (NLW) which was introduced in April 2016 for working people aged 25 and over. This instrument changes the age eligibility for the NLW to apply from age 23. This instrument also increases the hourly rate of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for workers aged 21 years or over (but not yet aged 23), workers aged 18 years or over (but not yet aged 21), those under the age of 18 and apprentices who are under the age of 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship. They come into force on 1 April 2021.

See: LNB News 09/02/2021 34.





DfE launches first phase of school transformation to increase opportunities

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched the first phase of the Prime Minister’s transformative school rebuilding programme, which aims ‘to level up opportunities for all’ with the first 50 projects supported by £1bn in funding. This marks the beginning of the School Rebuilding Programme, and 50 schools are confirmed for the first wave in which pupils will benefit from new, modern, energy efficient school buildings. The DfE also stated that the government has confirmed that over 15,500 children will benefit from 21 new free schools, and that funding can support facilities to improve accessibility for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

See: LNB News 05/02/2021 11.


DfE announces measures to boost international study and global opportunities

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced that the government is to implement new measures to assist the International Education Strategy and support the education sector. The DfE has stated that the new measures will attract overseas students and sets out plans for a new international teaching qualification to support demand for high quality teaching. Further to the announcement in December 2020 of the £110m Turing scheme, a website has gone live, which outlines funding and eligibility details so that schools, colleges and universities can prepare for bids to open. The Turing scheme will provide funding for students in schools, colleges, and universities to undertake placements across the world.

See: LNB News 08/02/2021 13.


OfS relaunches work to address harassment in higher education

The Office for Students (OfS) has announced that it is re-launching its work to address harassment and sexual misconduct in the higher education sector. The announcement follows a consultation launched in January 2020 in which the OfS proposed to publish a statement of expectations setting out the sort of processes, policies and systems universities and colleges should have in place to prevent and respond to harassment and sexual misconduct. The OfS has stated that the draft will be updated ahead of publication in Spring 2021.

See: LNB News 09/02/2021 76.


DfE launches consultation on proposed changes to NFF

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a consultation on proposed changes to the high need national funding formula (NFF), which gives financial support to local authorities for children and young people that require alternative provision or those with special educational needs and disability. The consultation will close at 11:45 pm on 24 March 2021.

See: LNB News 10/02/2021 71.


Ofsted and DfE issue updated MoU on independent schools

Ofsted and the Department for Education (DfE) have published an annual update to their memorandum of understanding (MoU) in relation to independent schools. The February 2021 version clarifies how inspections of non-association independent schools with residential or boarding provision are commissioned and sets out how Ofsted or the DfE handle the concerns and complaints they receive.

See: LNB News 04/02/2021 98.


OfS wants to use education opportunities to improve local prosperity

The Office for Students (OfS) has published a blog about the role higher education plays in local prosperity by improving opportunities through jobs and education. In the blog, the OfS considers how to align equality of opportunity with the local prosperity challenge. The OfS says that in the next phase of work, it aims to ‘enhance the role of further education colleges within the partnerships to improve progression from places where there is not a university presence and through different types of courses like degree apprenticeships’.

See: LNB News 10/02/2021 75.


OfS publishes blog on postgraduate conversion courses for digital skills

The Office for Students (OfS) has published a blog on the subject of postgraduate conversion courses for digital skills funded by the OfS. The blog covers how digital skills could be the path to future careers, new postgraduate conversion courses, paid work placements, available scholarships and the effects of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on learning opportunities.

See: LNB News 04/02/2021 100.


Welsh Government announces new alumni scheme

The Welsh Government has announced that a new alumni scheme will link students with local role models in Wales to inspire comprehensive school students. The alumni role models will speak to these pupils about their own career journeys, including any barriers that have been experienced and valuable lessons learned along the way. The Welsh Government suggests that this will highlight the different careers and pathways that are available. A toolkit has also been developed by Future First to create the new alumni programme, which will be made available to all secondary schools located in Wales so that they can recruit role models.

See: LNB News 05/02/2021 32.


Education (Student Fees, Awards and Support) (Amendment) Regulations 2021, SI 2021/127

Amendments are made to the Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011, Education (Fees and Awards) (England) Regulations 2007, Education (Student Support) (European University Institute) Regulations 2010, Further Education Loans Regulations 2012, Education (Postgraduate Master’s Degree Loans) Regulations 2016, Higher Education (Fee Limit Condition) (England) Regulations 2017 and the Education (Postgraduate Doctoral Degree Loans and the Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) (Amendment) (No. 2) etc.) Regulations 2018 in England. These Regulations come into force on 1 March 2021.

See: LNB News 09/02/2021 29.




Children's social care

Court found that the deficiencies in the investigation of the abuse allegations had been such that no court could properly make the findings of abuse against the mother—Re JB (a child) (sexual abuse allegations)

In the case of Re JB (a child) (sexual abuse allegations), in allowing the appellant mother's appeal against findings that she had sexually abused her daughter, which were made against her following a fact-finding hearing in care proceedings in relation to her son, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, found that the deficiencies in the investigation of the abuse allegations had been on a scale such that no court could properly make the findings of abuse against the mother. Accordingly, the court set aside those findings and ordered that the care proceedings be continued only on the basis of the other findings that had been made, which had been undisturbed by the present appeal.

See: [2021] All ER (D) 29 (Feb).


Children’s Commissioner calls for joined up public health response to gangs

The Children's Commissioner, Anne Longfield, has published a report in which she argues that children will continue to keep dying on the streets until there is a joined up public health response to gangs. The report reveals that a lack of collaboration between the different agencies responsible for helping to keep children that are vulnerable safe, is also failing to prevent children from falling through gaps in the education, health, justice and care systems, which leaves them vulnerable to exploitation and grooming from criminal organisations.

See: LNB News 08/02/2021 75.


Children’s Commissioner reports the government’s approach to youth violence

The Children’s Commissioner has published a report of the public health response to youth violence in England. The government has pledged to use a public health approach to gang violence which involves all agencies collaborating together to tackle the ‘underlying causes of child criminal exploitation’. The Commissioner has recognised that ‘insufficient attention has been paid to the need for agencies in other area to adopt both safeguarding and public health response across the country’. Therefore, the implementation of action taken by public health bodies and children’s services has had limited work in incentivising and monitoring. The report outlines that a lot of local authorities do not have a ‘sufficient grip on the drivers for youth violence’ nor ‘a cogent strategy to reduce risk factors in vulnerable cohorts’. Risks such as local school exclusions were not being monitored. The Commissioner is particularly concerned by this as they understand ‘more about the ever—evolving models that gangs use to exploit children’. The research was conducted prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which emphasises the escalating vulnerability further.

See: LNB News 09/02/2021 38.


Ofsted updates information for parents relating to inspections

Ofsted has updated the ‘Inspections’ section on the ‘Information for parents about Ofsted’s role in regulating childcare’ to reflect the six-year inspection window and has inserted links to the published guidance. Ofsted states that under inspection arrangements, all providers on the Early Years Register will be inspected in a six-year window from the date of their last inspection.

See: LNB News 04/02/2021 101.


Family Justice Council to hold seminars on adoption in 21st century

The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary has announced that the Family Justice Council will be hosting a series of seminars, as well as a Bridget Lindley Memorial Lecture, given by Baroness Hale, on adoption in the 21st century. The online events will take place between 1 and 4 March 2021, from 5 pm to 6:30 pm.

See: LNB News 05/02/2021 20.


Home Office releases toolkit on reducing SOC involvement in young people

The Home Office has released a toolkit for practitioners to help them work with young people involved in, or at risk of involvement in, Serious and Organised Crime (SOC). The toolkit provides guidance on good practice to help those in local government, youth offending teams, law enforcement and education provide the most effective interventions. The toolkit was designed by the SOC Prevent team and includes guidance on understanding the SOC threat in an area, as well as how to identify people at risk of involvement in SOC and how to engage effectively with them.

See: LNB News 08/02/2021 74.




Social care

Court of Protection approves plan to return incapacitated lady to her home country—Re UR

The case Re UR concerns UR, a 68-year-old lady with persistent delusional disorder and lacking capacity to make decisions as to where she should live. The current question before the court is whether UR should remain in her care home or return to live with and be cared for by her family in Poland. After weighing up all the competing factors, Mr Justice Hayden was satisfied that it was possible and in UR's best interests to move to live in Poland. While the plan is not free from risk, it offers distinct and obvious advantages to UR. It broadens her social horizons, it returns her to her family, it relocates her to her homeland. Perhaps most importantly, it is consistent with her clear and frequently expressed wishes and it guards her autonomy in the proactive way MCA 2005 prescribes. In addition, Hayden J found that, were UR fully capacitous to take this decision herself, she would recognise the inevitable discomforts and challenges of what may very well be her last journey but would unhesitatingly choose to return to Poland. He praised the professionals in this case for working collaboratively and creatively together to construct a plan for UR's return which he is able to approve as being in her best interests. Hayden J also considered the present Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations, SI 2020/1374 and found that UR could leave the UK to travel to Poland under identified exceptions within the regulations. The judgment contains a non-exhaustive checklist to provide assistance to the Court of Protection when considering cases involving permanent relocation from the jurisdiction of England and Wales. Hayden J also included a copy of the order authorising UR’s removal from England to Poland within the judgment as it provides a useful template for future cases.

See: [2021] All ER (D) 36 (Feb). Further analysis to follow.


Court held it was in best interests for TM to receive proposed treatment to avoid imminent death despite his objection and the potential difficulties he might face as a result—Re TM

In the case of Re TM, a homeless Zimbabwean man (TM) who had been admitted to hospital after he had been found, collapsed, at a bus shelter, lacked the capacity to take medical decisions concerning the treatment of his necrotic legs and his failing kidneys for himself. In circumstances where the overwhelming medical consensus was that, in order to avoid an imminent death, TM needed surgery, including below the knee bilateral amputation of both legs, the Court of Protection, in allowing an NHS Trust's application, essentially ruled that, notwithstanding TM's objection and the potential difficulties he might face as a double-amputee, it was in his best interests to receive the proposed treatment. The court considered that TM's instinctive enthusiasm for the natural word, his pride in and love for his daughter and his spontaneous expression of his wish to see her, indicated a man who would choose to live.

See: [2021] All ER (D) 21 (Feb).


CQC announces that care home provider ordered to pay £83,644

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced that care provider St John’s Nursing Home has pleaded guilty ‘to failing to provide safe care and treatment, resulting in avoidable harm to Mr Stephen Verrall while he was resident at the home’. Verrall on 17 October 2017 was reported to have an unwitnessed fall from his bedroom window and was found in the car park outside. The CQC has stated that on 3 February 2021, the care provider was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £3,474 prosecution costs, as well as a £170 victim surcharge at Croydon magistrates’ court.

See: LNB News 05/02/2021 14.


Care Quality Commission actions changes at care home in Lancashire

The Care Quality Commission has identified serious risks to patient safety at a Lancashire nursing home, called Cleveleys Nursing Home, where the service has been rated inadequate. This was an unannounced inspection following concerns raised about the care of patients, and control measures used to protect people from coronavirus (COVID-19). After the inspection the CQC has stated the provider has made some improvements and is aware of the additional changes that need to be made.

See: LNB News 10/02/2021 24.




Social housing

MHCLG announces multi-billion pound intervention to end unsafe cladding

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced a five-point plan, involving an unprecedented £5bn investment, including £3.5bn which was announced on 10 February 2021. According to the MHCLG, this new funding aims to bring an end to unsafe cladding and bring confidence to the housing market. It has been announced that the government will pay for the removal of cladding that is unsafe for all leaseholders in high-rise buildings, protecting them from costs, and a new levy and tax on developers will be introduced to ensure that the industry contributes. The five-point plan also involves a 'world-class' new safety regime to ensure that the Grenfell tragedy does not happen again.

See: LNB News 10/02/2021 108.


Cabinet Office announces independent review of Construction Frameworks

The Cabinet Office has announced that an independent review will be launched into construction frameworks as part of the Construction Playbook implementation. The framework review will lead to recommendations for the components of a ‘gold standard’ against which proposed frameworks and framework contracts can be measured, training packages enabling adoption of the new gold standard and standard contract terms supporting the new gold standard. This aims to enable contracting authorities to easily identify frameworks which meet best practices while embodying playbook policies.

See: LNB News 10/02/2021 9.


Government reveals details of Decent Homes Standard review

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has announced the details of the review of the Decent Homes Standard, which aims to ascertain whether it is right for the social housing sector. The review, announced initially in the November 2020 Charter for Social Housing Residents: Social Housing White Paper, is due to be conducted in two parts. The first part’s aim is to understand the case for change to criteria within the Decent Homes Standard and will run from spring–autumn 2021. The second part, which only exists if a case is made in the first, will run from autumn 2021–summer 2022 and will consider how ‘decency’ should be defined.

See: LNB News 08/02/2021 100.


Law Society calls on government to protect leaseholders from cladding costs

The Law Society of England and Wales has called on the government to protect leaseholders from the costs of removing dangerous cladding from their homes. According to the Law Society, ‘homeowners have almost no recourse available to them as, because of an ancient quirk of English law, buyers of defective homes cannot recover the cost of rectifying them from councils or building inspectors who gave approval for them to be occupied’.

See: LNB News 04/02/2021 31.


Wales on target to build 20,000 affordable homes by end of this Senedd term

The Welsh Government has issued an update on its Land for Housing scheme, which provides loan funding to housing associations to build affordable homes. So far, the government has supported the building of around 6,300 new homes, and believes it is on target to build 20,000 affordable homes before the end of this Senedd term.

See: LNB News 08/02/2021 21.





DHSC and NHS Resolution publish working relationship framework agreement

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published a framework agreement with NHS Resolution, a special health authority which administers indemnity schemes for meeting the liabilities of health service bodies. The agreement sets out the working relationship between the DHSC and NHS Resolution, how NHS Resolution will operate, and how the DHSC and NHS Resolution will together serve patients, the public and the taxpayer. The framework agreement also considers transparency, audits, delegations and financial management, risk management and the relationship with the DHSC’s other bodies.

See: LNB News 04/02/2021 91.


DHSC announces review into using health data for analysis and research

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced the launch of a new review into using health data for research and analysis. The focus of the review will be how it can be safely and efficiently used for the benefit of the healthcare sector and patients. The Director of the DataLab at Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Dr Ben Goldacre, is to conduct the review and has been asked to present his findings in April 2020.

See: LNB News 09/02/2021 57.





Casino fined £625,500 for various breaches after man dies of suicide

The Gambling Commission has published a review into Aspers Stratford City Casino in London, in which it was found that the casino did not have adequate player protection and anti-money laundering provisions. The review was instigated in 2018 after a person that had visited the casino died by suicide. The Commission has issued a warning and a fine to the casino. The casino also commissioned an internal report and has enacted a variety of changes to its policies.

See: LNB News 04/02/2021 88.





Court of Appeal clarifies how NPPF policy to protect designated areas should be applied when considering the presumption in favour of sustainable development (Monkhill v SSHCLG)

The Court of Appeal has clarified how the presumption in favour of sustainable development at paragraph 11d) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) operates in applying the paragraph 172 policy intended to protect designated areas. Even for development that is not ‘major development’, applying paragraph 172 may result in a clear reason for refusing permission under 11d)i and if so, the tilted balance under 11d)ii is disapplied.

See News Analysis: Court of Appeal clarifies how NPPF policy to protect designated areas should be applied when considering the presumption in favour of sustainable development (Monkhill v SSHCLG).


‘No support in statute or authority’ for limiting the decision-maker’s planning judgment (Gladman Developments v SSHCLG)

The Court of Appeal has clarified the relationship between the presumption in favour of sustainable development in paragraph 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the statutory duty in section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (PCPA 2004) to determine applications in accordance with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Reinforcing well-established case law, the court held that the exercise of assessing a development’s compliance with the policies in the NPPF can properly embrace consideration of policies in the development plan. Whether or not (and how) to include any relevant development plan policies is a matter of planning judgment. The court also held that there is no prescribed method for discharging the statutory duty under PCPA 2004, s 38(6). The decision-maker can go about the task in a way that seems suitable in the particular circumstances of the case, which may include an approach that incorporates the application of the tilted balance under para 11(d)ii into the decision-making under PCPA 2004, s 38(6) in one all-encompassing stage. Written by Dr Christina Lienen, barrister at Cornerstone Barristers.

See News Analysis: ‘No support in statute or authority’ for limiting the decision-maker’s planning judgment (Gladman Developments v SSHCLG).


Successful challenge against preliminary decision of Magistrate’s Court that it had jurisdiction to hear information in respect of alleged offences under Town and Country Planning Act, s 171D(5)—Russnak-Johnston v Reading Magistrates' Court

In the case of Russnak-Johnston v Reading Magistrates' Court, the claimant challenged, by way of judicial review, the preliminary decision of the defendant magistrates' court that it had jurisdiction to hear information in respect of four alleged offences under s 171D(1) (offence 1) and s 171D(5) (offences 2 to 4) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, relating to the claimant's non-compliance with two planning contravention notices served by the local authority under s 171C of that Act. The Administrative Court held that the claimant failed under issues 1 and 2 in relation to offence 1 but, succeeded under issue 2 in relation to offences 2 to 4, as they were statute-barred. It followed that the prosecution could proceed in respect of offence 1 but not the other offences.

See: [2021] All ER (D) 31 (Feb).


Planning newsletter sets out revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has added a Planning update newsletter (February 2021) to its planning guidance—letters to chief planning officers website. The newsletter covers various matters, including an update to the privacy notice in the Planning for the Future consultation, revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework, stakeholders' opportunities to test the National Model Design Code and the opening of the 2021 Housing Design Awards.

See: LNB News 08/02/2021 14.



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