Jersey: UK Property Newsletter issue 1- June 2011

Last Updated: 23 June 2011
Article by Collas Crill Jersey and Paul Harben

This is the first edition of what will be a regular Collas Crill UK Property Newsletter.  We will keep you up to date with news and best practice to ensure that you are kept abreast of the latest developments in the UK property market.

SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST HOUSE DISGUISED AS A BARN

It's not looking good for the castle disguised as a hay bale!

The Supreme Court has delivered its unanimous judgment that Alan Beesley, who built a barn on green belt land, is not entitled to planning permission for the three bedroom house hidden inside of it.

Mr Beesley obtained planning permission in 2001 to build a barn on green belt land in Hertfordshire. The planning permission was granted on the condition that it was used only for the storage of hay, straw or other agricultural products.

To all external appearances the building resembled the permitted barn with walls in profiled metal sheeting, a roller-shutter door, two smaller doors and eight roof lights. There were no other windows and the barn was surrounded by farmyard machinery. Inside however, instead of hay, straw or agricultural products, were three bedrooms (two of which were en-suite) lounge, kitchen, study, gym and garage.

Mr Beesley moved into the barn in 2002 and remained there for four consecutive years, with the local authority remaining unaware of the building's secret use.  After four years Mr Beesley applied for a certificate of lawfulness.

In England & Wales, you may apply for a certificate of lawfulness if you want to confirm that any existing use or activity in breach of a condition on planning permission that has already been granted is lawful. To obtain a certificate of lawfulness, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that in the case of change of use, the change of use to a single dwelling took place at least four years ago and in the case of breach of planning condition or any other change of use that the breach or change took place more than 10 years ago.

Mr Beesley was therefore looking to rely on the first limb, that the building had changed use from agricultural barn to a dwelling house more than 4 years ago.

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council refused the application and triggered a five year legal battle in the courts which finally came to an end in April this year with the Supreme Court ruling in the Council's favour.

Lord Brown said that: "On any possible view the whole scheme was in the highest degree dishonest and any law-abiding citizen would be not merely shocked by it but astonished to suppose that, once discovered, instead of being enforced against, it would be crowned with success.

"Frankly the dishonesty involved in this case is so far removed from almost anything else that I have ever encountered in this area of the law that it appears to constitute a category all its own."

Lord Brown explained that he said 'almost' because there another case waiting to be resolved. In very similar circumstances, farmer Robert Fidler is fighting to keep a castle that he built secretly and hid behind bales of hay in Salfords, Surrey.

The Supreme Court said the council could, in the Beesley's case, not only order against the continued use of the building but its destruction.

AUTOMATIC TRANSFER OF PRIVATE DRAINAGE SYSTEMS IN ENGLAND & WALES

Many properties are connected to the mains drainage system for water and drainage. The responsibility for repairing and maintaining those supplies lies with the utility companies.

However there are a substantial number of properties that connect to the mains system via private pipelines, drains and sewers. Where there is a private drainage system, the cost of repairing and maintaining the pipelines falls onto the property owner. More often than not, more than one property will share the use of the private system and where this is the case, the cost or repairing and maintaining the system is normally shared.

What is the proposed change?

Proposed legislation was placed before parliament at the end of April 2011 which will alter the general position outlined above. 

Under the new regulations, all private sewers and drains which carry waste from more than one property into the public system will be transferred into the ownership of the local utility company unless the owner objects.

Any drains which exclusively serve one property will remain the responsibility of the property owner as will the drains and pipes that form part of the structure of the property itself.

Why the need for change?

The changes stem from a review of the privately held drainage system and subsequent consultation in 2003, which found the private systems to be on a whole in a poor state of repair with urgent action needed to improve the country's water management. 

Many owners are also not aware of their responsibilities where there is a private drainage system and often do not know that they are using a private drain. 

The cost and need to repair shared systems are also often the cause of disputes between neighbours, particularly where the systems run through more than one property.

When will this change take place?

The regulations propose that the transfer will take place on 1st October 2011.  From that date, the utility company will be wholly responsible for the repair and maintenance of the drains.

How will I be affected?

The changes apply to private drainage systems & so the regulations will affect all properties, whether commercial or residential that use such a system.

Of course, there is a cost implication to this process and the cost of bringing the private systems up to the necessary standards will be borne by consumers. The government is currently predicting an increase in the sewerage element of bills across the country of between 7.5 and 23 pence per week.

Is there any way to prevent this from happening?

The regulations do allow for property owners to object to the automatic transfer.  This is likely to only be of interest for developers and owners of estates who must then be able to demonstrate that the automatic transfer will have an adverse impact on their property.

When will I hear more?

Owners and administrators who are based in the Channel Islands will need to pay close attention to updates if they wish to object to the transfer taking place. Utility companies will not be required to serve notice on affected properties and will be obliged only to advertise the transfer in the local newspapers.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions