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Landlord reasonably withhold consent to a planning application on the grounds of increased enfranchisement risk

LANDLORD REASONABLY WITHHOLD CONSENT

Overturning previous judgements of both the High Court and the Court of Appeal the Supreme Court has ruled that a landlord could use a qualified tenant covenant controlling the making of planning applications and use this alone to reasonably refuse consent to the making of a planning application the grant of planning permission to which (1) if implemented would increase the residential use made of the building and (2) would immediately increase the risk of enfranchisement of the landlord’s freehold interest to the landlord’s financial detriment. The qualified tenant covenant controlling the making of planning applications sufficed for the majority of the judges while those dissenting from this view felt more explicit controls in the lease were needed for the landlord to eliminate this risk given that the tenant user covenant in the lease didn’t explicitly further restrict residential use made of the premises.

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