Two law school graduates co-produced and co-created a piece of work with a senior academic – “Deliberate concealment”

Tilak Ginige, a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law at Bournemouth University’s Faculty of Science & Technology reports:

It is with great pride that I want to announce that two Law School Graduates -Sophie Childs, Hannah Pateman and I, co-produced and co-created a piece of work. This work has been published in the prestigious International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, Volume 9, Issue 1 of 2017.

This work confirms our collective effort and sentiment that Bournemouth University is helping to developing exceptionally talented undergraduate and postgraduate scholars.

Please find below a copy of the abstract and the practical implications it will have in the field of Environmental Law and Planning.

Citation:

Sophie Childs , Tilak A GINIGE , Hannah Pateman , (2017) “Deliberate concealment “, International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, Vol. 9 Iss: 1, pp. –

Downloads:

The full text of this document has been downloaded 3 times since 2017

Abstract:

Purpose

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Beesley hereafter) and Fidler v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Fidler hereafter) are two recent cases concerning deliberately concealed breaches of planning control. The defendants engaged in dishonest and misleading conduct, in an attempt to rely on a loophole within section 171B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (T&CPA).This article critically analyses two solutions which were created to close the loophole, in addition, the article analyses various alternative remedies that have been suggested, and lastly, whether the present law has been sufficient to remedy the situation.

Design/methodology/approach

Black letter law-The T&CPA is a key piece of legislation regulating planning controls; section 171A-C provides the time limits for taking enforcement action against a breach of planning control. In order to achieve the above purpose, an evaluation of those provisions will be undertaken in detail. Subsequently, this article will analyse two solutions which were created to close the loophole; firstly the Supreme Court (SC) decision, and secondly Parliaments decision to amend the T&CPA without awaiting SC’s decision.

Findings

This research concludes that Parliament should have awaited the SC’s decision before amending statute to prohibit reliance upon the expiration of time where there is an element of deliberate concealment. Additionally, this article suggests that the statutory amendments were not required in light of the SC’s solution in Beesley. As a result of Parliaments ill-considered decision, uncertainty has permeated through the conveyancing process, causing ambiguity, delays and additional expense in transactions at a time when a precarious property market needs anything but uncertainty.

Research limitations/implications

The scope of this research is limited to deliberate concealment of breaches of planning control and the four year enforcement period; whilst considering the consequences of the solutions proposed it does not provide a detailed overview of the planning system, but rather assumes prior knowledge.

Practical implications

This article offers a unique assessment of the law relating to the deliberate concealment of planning breaches and offers a thorough criticism of the law with recommendations for reform. Additionally, a variety of alternative solutions are considered. Both legal academics, planning professionals and those interested in planning law will find the paper a thought-provoking digest.

Originality/value

This article offers a unique assessment of the law relating to the deliberate concealment of planning breaches and offers a thorough criticism of the law with recommendations for reform. Additionally, a variety of alternative solutions are considered. Both legal academics, planning professionals and those interested in planning law will find the paper a thought-provoking digest.

If you require more information, please contact Tilak Ginige here.

 

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