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Local Authority round-up 21/04/23

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.


Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill Update: Latest House of Lords amendments

Baroness Mcintosh of Pickering (Conservative) has tabled a new clause that would enable local authorities to meet virtually. Under the Local Government Act 1972, local authorities cannot meet virtually and councillors joining a meeting virtually are unable to be recorded as attending, to vote, or to be counted towards quoracy of the meeting.

Lord Moylan (Conservative) has tabled a new clause that would require the Secretary of State to consult on a proposal to transfer the control of taxi and private hire vehicle licencing to both combined authorities and upper-tier authorities.

For more information, please click here.

International Trade

UK Trade Minister in US to sign fourth trade pact with a US state

The UK’s Trade Minister, Nigel Huddleston, has visited the US to sign the UK’s state-level memorandum of understanding (MoU) to boost trade and investment with Oklahoma, the fourth such agreement between the UK and a US state.

It is hoped that the agreement will provide a boost to the existing £174.4m worth of goods UK companies exported to Oklahoma in 2022 and generate more jobs for exporters in the UK. Nearly 3,000 jobs in Oklahoma are supported by exports to the UK and nearly 10,000 people in the state are employed by British companies.

The UK already has MoUs in place with Indiana, North Carolina and South Carolina, which are intended to help UK businesses meet new buyers and secure new contracts. The Government is currently discussing future agreements with states including Utah, Texas and California.

For more information, please click here.

Planning and housing

Case Summary: Future High Street Living (Staines) Ltd v Spelthorne BC

On 28 March 2023, the High Court made an order quashing the decision made by Spelthorne Borough Council on 29 June 2022 to extend the Staines Conservation Area (SCA) to include the town’s former Debenhams department store, which the claimant wished to demolish to make way for a residential development.

The judge decided that the council had failed to take into account representations made by the claimant when deciding whether to extend the SCA, that the Officer Reports relied upon to make the decision to extend the SCA were misleading, in that they didn’t include important information such as the fact that Historic England did not consider the building to be particularly noteworthy, and that a purported reconsideration of the decision to take into the account the claimant’s representations was unlawful.

A copy of the judgment of Mr Justice Lane can be found here.

Case Summary: R (Atwill) v New Forest National Park Authority

On 22 March 2023, the High Court made an order quashing a decision made by the New Forest National Park Authority to vary a planning condition pursuant to section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 on the grounds that the original planning permission had lapsed, so could not be varied.

The main ground of dispute was whether demolition of the existing dwelling in order to build a new dwelling and outbuilding not in accordance with the original planning permission (and was since subject to an enforcement notice) constituted a ‘material operation’ in respect of the development. If so, then the time for the planning permission to be implemented would not have expired, and therefore section 73 could be used.

The case also considered, amongst other things, the authority’s decisions on the materiality of variations and the authority’s failure to reattach or repeat planning conditions.

A copy of the judgment of Mr Justice Lane can be found here.

Upcoming webinars

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 Request’ will take place on 16 May 2023.

For more information or to book your place please click here.

Housing Management Law School – Spring term

On 25th April at 10am our Housing Management Law School returns for it’s Spring term. The Law School is taught by two of our very own expert Social Housing lawyers, John Murray and Simon Thirtle. It is free to attend and exists to deliver training to Registered Providers of Social Housing across the country, educating and updating their housing management staff with the essential legal knowledge that they need. The Law School is held over 90 minutes and covers three sections, in this session we will be discussing News, Committal Proceedings and The Social Housing (Regulation) Bill.

For more information or to book your place please click here.

Employment law update

Ward Hadaway’s employment law update is back this Spring. Taking place via Zoom on Wednesday 26th April at 10am. Our experts will ensure your team is kept in the loop, covering recent and upcoming updates in legislation, case law and pending Tribunal decisions, focusing throughout on the practical points of what this means for employers and HR teams.

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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