British Property Federation (BPF) director of strategy and external affairs, Ghislaine Halpenny, sits down with Matthew White, partner and head of UK planning, to discuss planning, its ever-changing nature and the direction it is taking.
Also published on the BPF soundcloud for the BPF Futures network, a networking and development group for junior professionals working in all areas of UK real estate.
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Author: Adrian Brown, Of Counsel, Competition, Regulation and Trade, Brussels
A recent High Court ruling has clarified the extent of a local authority's obligations to obtain best consideration and to comply with public procurement regulations when it enters into a development agreement with a developer for the regeneration of land. The case of R (on the application of Faraday Development Ltd) v West Berkshire Council and St Modwen Developments Limited concerned a development agreement entered into between West Berkshire Council and St Modwen to regenerate an area of industrial land in Newbury that was owned mostly by the Council. St Modwen was chosen as the development partner pursuant to a competitive tender but not one that was conducted under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.
An unsuccessful bidder in the tender process, Faraday Development Ltd, brought a challenge against the Council by way of judicial review. It alleged that the Council had failed in its obligations, first, to obtain best consideration for the disposal of its land under section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972 (LGA) and, second, to comply with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR). In a judgment laid down on 26 August 2016, the High Court found in favour of the Council and dismissed both aspects of Faraday's claim.
The case provides some reassurance to local authorities and their development partners, with the court taking a pragmatic, flexible approach towards the authority's obligation to secure best value when disposing of land intended for redevelopment.