I am ahappy to wait for an answer.
Continuing from 2) above: stopping the use of the land for non-educational purposes.
The site stopped being used as a school some years ago and was converted to offices for Local Authority Education Department purposes. After several years of this use, the Local Authority granted themselves planning permission to extend the buildings (to create more offices and meeting rooms), with the planning permission having a Condition that stated that “The premises shall be used only for general local authority office purposes and for no other purpose whether or not within Use Class B1 as specified in the Schedule of Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987, or in any provision equivalent to that class in any statutory instrument revoking and re-enacting that Order.”
The limitation was not education purposes, so we must assume that there is precedent of non-educational use.
a) Does this create an issue / precedent that might stop a successful judicial review or injunction being brought?
b) Could an injunction be brought now for the current non-educational use, even though this use could be for more than 10 years?
c) The current proposal is for a residential development; can an injunction / judicial review prevent use for this even though the Local Authority may have already breached the condition regarding ‘only educational purposes or objects’?
I may have confused things a little by referring to current use and possible future use, and so I am not sure that I understand fully what you have said.
Can we take these as two parts: 1) the current use (local authority office use); and 2) future use (proposed residential development):
1. Current use (offices):
If the Local Authority have been using the buildings for office use, rather than only education purposes, and have been doing this for more than 10 years, I understand that it is too late to bring a judicial review (due to 3 month time limit).
1a) Is it also the case that we are time barred from bringing an injunction?
1b) You state in your previous answer to (a) that because “there was a condition on transfer for educational use they must deal with that and keep it as that”. Who can enforce this and how do they do this?
2. Future use (proposed residential development):
If there is a new use for the site, and clearly not education purposes:
2a) Is this new use open to either judicial review or injunction (i.e. is it a new breach)?
2b) Does a previous breach of the condition of transfer by the Local Authority mean that other future breaches are immune from enforcement/injunction?
I may have (unintentionally) given the impression that there had been a complete change of use of the offices.
The education use has not ceased, but some other more general local authority office use may have been added. I have just reviewed the local authority’s website and they list the site as the contact address for the following departments:
Education Welfare Service
School Admissions Team
Early Years Advisory Team
14 - 19 Provision
These are all educational uses. Other local authority departments are possibly housed within the offices (using available spare capacity), though I cannot find any examples of non-education departments that list the site as their contact address.
1) Since the site still has continued education use (albeit with possibly some additional ancillary or incidental uses for non-educational purposes) does this mean that the use has not changed, i.e. that the local authority is still complying with the educational use requirement?
2) If the educational use has continued until now, does this mean that redevelopment of the site for residential purposes (subject to planning approval for change to C1 use) would be the first instance of breach of the condition?
3) Would the ‘additional’ existing use for non-educational purposes be sufficient grounds to allow a complete cessation of compliance with the education use clause and permit the land to be used for access to residential development only?
4) Does the above change your view on who can enforce, i.e. if there has been continuing use for educational purposes could “any resident who has 'locus' that is an interest” challenge this, or is there some time-barring that could prevent this?
5) Where you mention (at 1b) above) that only the previous owner could enforce, if I was to purchase the freehold to the farm, would I become the ‘previous owner’ and be able to enforce?
That helps in respect of previous owner, but my questions related to the fact that the educational use has continued (albeit with some other additional uses).
Does this not mean that the use has not yet changed, and so the first answer you provided of actions available is still applicable?
Sorry, but I am confused.
Are you saying that the first advice you provided, i.e.:
1). They are not allowed to sell it. They can let another party use it - but it must be for educational purpose or objects.2). You can stop the sale by an injunction or Judicial Review. But you can't stop the use if it is for educational purposes.3). Any resident who has 'locus' that is an interest can bring such an action.is all time barred or can only be brought by the original owner?
I am sorry but I am getting more confused – perhaps my question is not clear.
At the start of this, there was a potential that the Local Authority (who have continued to use the site for educational purposes) would allow others to use the land to access a residential development.
In response to my questions you answered as follows:
1). Given the above clause, do the local authority have the right to either sell the land or allow a third party to use it for access to the main site?They are not allowed to sell it. They can let another party use it - but it must be for educational purpose or objects.2) Is there a legal right to stop the sale (of the access land parcel) or prevent the access land being used by another party?Yes you can stop the sale by an injunction or Judicial Review. But you can't stop the use if it is for educational purposes.3) If there is a legal right at 2) above, who can bring such action?Any resident who has 'locus' that is an interest.
In your most recent response you said:
1) and 2) - time barred3) Not time barred for an injunction but time barred for Judicial Review.
If the ‘event’ of allowing use has not yet happened, why is Judicial Review not available?
I am sorry, but this really does not clarify.
I do not understand why you are saying that I would be time barred from seeking a Judicial Review when the event of allowing someone to use the land for non educational purposes has not yet occurred.
Does the time limit not start from the date of the crystallising event?
Yes, that makes sense – if you assume that it has been used for non-educational purposes for 10 years.
I can see how this is guiding your answer.
What I thought that I had explained was that it has continued to be used for educational purposes without break, but there may also be some additional office use for non-educational purposes.
It has never ceased being used for educational purposes.
So the question that I had asked was: if this incidental or ancillary non-educational use existed alongside the educational use – i.e. whilst the primary educational use continued to run – might provide the local authority with a defense against JR or injunction?