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Social Housing Case Bulletin – December 2015

We are delighted to provide you with our monthly case law update which includes cases within the last month from the higher jurisdiction courts in England and Wales that are relevant to the affordable housing sector.

We trust that this update will be helpful and we welcome any queries or further help that we can provide by contacting the partners mentioned below.

Keeping abreast of the latest case law is an important aspect of advice to our clients in delivering the highest quality legal services and we trust you will find this a useful update within your business.

Affinity Sutton v Martin

Bromley County Court

27 August 2015

Anti-social behaviour – Breach of injunction – Sentencing

This case involved the breaching of an anti-social behaviour injunction. The Defendant had used threatening behaviour and deliberately made noise, contrary to the terms of the injunction. The judge handed down a custodial sentence of two months imprisonment, suspended for two years on the condition that compliance was maintained throughout the duration of an extended injunction.

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Birmingham City Council v Mondhlani

[2015] EW Misc B41 Birmingham County Court

6 November 2015

Local authorities’ powers and duties – Possession claims – Transfer to High Court

This case arose from a “pilot scheme” operated by the Claimant Council who wanted to transfer to the High Court the enforcement of many of its County Court residential possession orders. There was a backlog of cases and a limited number of bailiffs to enforce warrants of possession. The Council argued there would be substantial benefits in the management of its social housing stock were it able to transfer proceedings to the High Court. The Defendants submitted that such a transfer should never take place. It was held that, provided a Court was satisfied by adequate assurances or conditions that a transfer did not prejudice a tenant, then the decision would depend on there being sufficient advantages being demonstrated for the transfer to take place.

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Bokrosova v London Borough of Lambeth

[2015] EWHC 3386 Administrative Court

24 November 2015

Housing – Refurbishment – Consultation

The Defendant Council investigated the estimated costs of bringing a housing estate up to their housing standard. It was later decided to drop the regeneration because it was ‘not affordable’. The Claimant argued that the decision was unlawful because it was in breach of s.105 of the Housing Act 1985 and the legal requirements for a lawful consultation. It was held that the Defendant’s decision was unlawful. The Claimant had requested a declaration and a quashing order and was entitled to that relief.

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Broadland Housing Association Ltd v Stevens

Kings Lynn County Court

4 September 2015

Anti-social behaviour – Breach of injunction – Sentencing

This case revolved around the breaching of an anti-social behaviour injunction. The Defendant had threatened violence to an ex-neighbour in breach of the terms of the injunction. The judge handed down a custodial sentence of 28 days’ imprisonment, suspended as long as the terms of an extended injunction were complied with.

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Circle Housing Old Ford v Robinson

Romford County Court

2 September 2015

Anti-social behaviour – Breach of injunction – Sentencing

This case involved the breaching of an anti-social behaviour injunction. The Defendant had threatened violence, including a threat to kill, an ex-neighbour in breach of the terms of her injunction. The Defendant contested the case and therefore no reduction of sentence was available. The judge handed down a custodial sentence of ten weeks’ imprisonment.

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Daventry District Council v Secretary of State (& Gladman Developments)

[2015] EWHC 3459 Administrative Court

2 December 2015

Town and country planning – Residential development – Countryside – Weighting

The Claimant applied under s.288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to quash the decision of an Inspector, allowing the Second Defendant’s appeal against refusal of planning permission for 121 dwellings. The Claimant contended that the Inspector had failed to determine the application in accordance with the development plan, and misapplied the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in concluding that the saved policies in the Local Plan (LP) ought to be given reduced weight. The First Defendant conceded that the decision ought to be quashed. However, the Second Defendant continued to resist the application. It was held that the Inspector had erred in law in the way in which he discharged his statutory duty and in his application of the NPPF. The decision was quashed (by consent, in the case of the First Defendant only).
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