Local Authority round-up 05/05/23
5th May, 2023
Our Local Authority round up provides brief summaries of topical information on a weekly basis, to keep you aware of the changes and updates relevant to you.
Geospatial Commission pilot launched that would allow public sector bodies access to high resolution Earth Observation (EO) data and services
On 28 April 2023, the Geospatial Commission, a committee of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology launched a commercial pilot that is intended to unlock the value of Earth Observation (EO) technology in priority policy areas, including land use, environmental monitoring and emergency response.
The pilot will run through 2023/24 as part of a wider programme designed to lower the barrier to entry of EO data for the public sector.
For more information, please click here.
Anglian Water fined £2.65m after sewage discharge into North Sea
On 28 April 2023, Chelmsford Magistrates Court ordered Anglian Water to pay a £2.65m fine after pleading guilty to discharging more than three Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of untreated sewage into the North Sea in two months, following a prosecution brought by the Environment Agency.
Water companies have been responsible for self-monitoring water recycling sites since 2010, where they are required to notify the Environment Agency if they are in breach of any of their permit conditions. The Jaywick Water Recycling Centre in Essex did possess a permit to discharge sewage into the sea, but only during storm conditions.
For more information, please click here.
DEFRA Air Quality Strategy for England Published
On 28 April 2023, the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published a framework for local authority delivery of the Government’s long-term air quality goals, which supersedes the air quality strategy previously published in March 2011 under the coalition government.
The Environment Act 2021 set 2 legally binding targets to reduce concentrations of fine particles (PM2.5) by 2040. The new framework is intended to provide a route to delivering these. These include local authorities:
- keeping boundaries of existing smoke control areas under review, especially if development has taken place outside these boundaries;
- enforcing existing smoke control areas;
- enforcing solid fuel regulations, including ensuring that no retailers in their respective local authority areas are selling coal for indoor domestic burning.
A copy of the policy paper can be found here.
“Martyn’s Law” – The Government publishes the first draft of the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill
On 2 May 2023, the Government published the first draft of the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, also known as “Martyn’s Law” after Martyn Hett who was killed in the 2017 Manchester Arena attack.
The draft Bill is intended to provide consistent standards of protection at public venues, with “standard duty” premises normally being those with a capacity of 100-799 individuals, and “enhanced duty” premises normally being those with a capacity of 800 individuals or more (with some exceptions and nuances). A person responsible for a qualifying public premises or a qualifying public event will be subject to terrorism protection requirements set out in the Bill, with the scope of such duty dependent on the “standard” or “enhanced” status of the venue or activity in question.
A copy of the draft bill and its accompanying drafting notes can be found here.
Planning and housing
Case Summary: AHGR Limited v Kane-Laverack & Another
On 21 April 2023, the Court of Appeal considered the meaning of “live/work” in the context of a covenant in a lease of a flat in Southwark not to use the premises for anything other than as a “live/work unit” in accordance with the terms of the relevant planning permission. The planning permission granted by Southwark LBC on 23 February 2001 provided for “the erection of a building comprising of 13 business units, 14 residential units, and 1 live/work unit”. The permission included a drawing that shaded the whole “live/work unit” as “work/live space”.
The court held that in the particular circumstances of the case, the term “live/work” meant “live and/or work”, and therefore it was not a breach of covenant to use the premises for purely residential purposes.
A copy of the judgment of Lord Justice Dingemans can be found here.
Webinar series: Data Protection
Register your interest for our on-going webinar series on ‘Data Protection’ for in-house lawyers, DPOs and senior management in private and public sector organisations. The series will run throughout 2023 providing attendees with up to date information on key Data Protection topics. The short one hour sessions will be delivered by our experts with allocated time for you to ask any questions you may have. The next in our series ‘Data Subject Access Requests’ will take place on 16 May 2023.
For more information or to book your place, please click here.
If you have any questions about the issues raised in this update, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.
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