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In brief for week ending 15 February 2017

Make sure that you have not missed a key development in your area of the law by reading our In brief review of the latest Practical Law Local Government email.

Adult social services:

Children’s services:

  • The European Parliament has adopted a non-legislative Resolution with recommendations to the European Commission on cross-border aspects of adoptions.

Civil litigation:

  • The Court of Appeal has considered a second appeal against an order granting a stay of execution of a registration order. In particular, the court considered whether the relevant discretion arose under CPR 3.1(2)(f) or CPR 83.7 and whether, in any event, the court’s underlying decision in the first appeal was wrong (Michael Wilson & Partners Ltd v Sinclair).
  • Supreme Court Practice Direction 13 on costs has been amended to make reference to CPR 52.19A, which was introduced by the Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2017.
  • HM Courts & Tribunals Service has published “Justice matters”, a paper outlining how its programme of changes to the justice system aims to improve services for everyone who uses them.
  • Amendments to the Chancery Guide have been published which take immediate effect. The guide was last substantially revised in November 2016.
  • The government has published responses to the Ministry of Justice’s consultations on:


Employment and pensions:

  • The EAT has upheld an employment tribunal’s decision to reject a claim of indirect religious discrimination, brought by a Catholic employee, whose request for five consecutive weeks’ holiday in order to attend a series of religious festivals in Sardinia was declined (Gareddu v London Underground Ltd).
  • The Employment Tribunal has confirmed that a pension scheme rule that allowed a part-time member’s pension to be pro-rated did not disadvantage such workers (Parker v Medical Defence Union Services Limited & the Medical Defence Union Pension and Life Assurance Scheme).
  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published its predecessor’s Employment status review (2015) report.
  • HM Courts and Tribunals Service has launched an online database of employment tribunal decisions.
  • The Supreme Court has unanimously allowed an appeal by a claimant in relation to the judicial review of a decision not to pay her a survivor’s pension following the death of her cohabiting partner who was a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme in Northern Ireland (Brewster, Re Application for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland)).


  • The House of Lords energy and environment sub-committee has published its report on Brexit, the environment and climate change.
  • The Department for Communities and Local Government has published its White Paper, Fixing our broken housing market. The White Paper contains environmental announcements relating to European protected species, newt licensing and amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework.

FOI and data protection:

  • The Information Commissioner has published her briefing to the Lords Bill Committee on the Digital Economy Bill, focusing her paper on age verification systems (part 3), data sharing with specified public authorities (part 5) and putting the ICO’s direct marketing guidance on a statutory footing (part 6).


  • The National Audit Office has published a report examining the progress that the Department of Health, the Department for Communities Local Government and NHS England have made towards integrating health and social care services.

Local government law:

  • The First-tier Tribunal has decided that a London Borough was correct to list allotment gardens as an asset of community value (Earl Percy’s Appointed Fund v London Borough of Hounslow).
  • The Department for Communities and Local Government has published a consultation document containing proposed amendments to the Local Authorities (Capital Finance and Accounting) (England) Regulations 2003.
  • The Local Government Association has published updated guidance on the publicity restrictions that should be observed by local authorities during the pre-election and pre-referendum period.

Property and planning:

  • The Infrastructure Planning (Compulsory Acquisition) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 have been made and will come into force on 23 February 2017. The Regulations amend the Infrastructure Planning (Compulsory Acquisition) Regulations 2010 to prescribe new information to be included in a notice of authorisation of compulsory acquisition under section 134 of the Planning Act 2008.
  • The Non-Domestic Rating (Reliefs, Thresholds and Amendment) (England) Order 2017 has been made and will come into force in England on 3 March 2017.
  • The High Court has considered whether a buyer’s solicitors had breached their trustee duties by paying completion monies to the solicitors acting for a fraudulent seller and, if so, whether the buyer’s solicitors were entitled to relief under section 61 of the Trustee Act 1925 (Dreamvar (UK) Ltd v Mishcon de Reya and others).
  • The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has considered how to calculate compensation in the context of a compulsory purchased listed building at risk (Meredith v King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council).
  • The Department for Communities and Local Government has published the Housing White Paper Fixing our broken housing market, which sets out how the government intends to fix the broken housing market. The White Paper contains content of interest to planning practitioners.
  • The Housing White Paper Fixing our broken housing market contains proposals of interest to property practitioners.
  • The Land Registry has opened a consultation on proposals to amend the Land Registration Rules 2003. The proposed changes will facilitate the Land Registry’s digital transformation programme.
  • The government has published its response to the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Rural Planning Review Call for Evidence and is consulting on extending the thresholds for agricultural permitted development rights.
  • The government has published its response to a consultation on proposed changes to national planning policy.
  • The government has published its response to a technical consultation seeking views on the proposed approach to the implementation of a number of planning measures now contained in the Housing and Planning Act 2016.

Public procurement and state aid:

  • The ECJ has annulled part of a European Commission award decision but declined to award damages (European Dynamics Luxembourg and others v European Commission).
  • The Department for Communities and Local Government has published a proposal for consultation on an addition to the Best Value Statutory Guidance.
  • A European Commission notice on state aid recovery interest rates and reference/discount rates for all 28 EU member states applicable from 1 March 2017 has been published in the Official Journal.

Regulation and enforcement:

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