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Asserson Law Offices' planning team achieves two appeal victories in early 2014

Assersons highly ranked planning team has hit the ground running in 2014 with two successful appeal decisions. The first, against the Royal Borough of Greenwich, was one of the first appeals made under new legislation enacted in the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013, with very significant implications for the development industry. In the second, Assersons represented the Irish Jewish Museum in its efforts to expand, and appeared successfully before the Irish Planning board. Please see below for further information about these two cases. For further information about our planning team's services please contact Daniel Drukarz.

In This Issue Historic first successful appeal under new legislation Appeal win in Dublin

Albany Homes wins historic first successful appeal under new legislation
Asserson Law Offices are delighted to announce a successful and ground-breaking outcome for Albany Homes following their appeal under sections 106BA and 106BC of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. These provisions, introduced under the Growth and Infrastructure Act in 2013, enable developers to apply to the local planning authority for the removal of an affordable housing requirement in a section 106 agreement if they believe that the requirement renders a scheme unviable. The developer can appeal a refusal or non-determination of their application. The decision is an historic first for the residential development industry. The Inspector on appeal ruled that the section 106 agreement should be modified to remove the affordable housing requirement in its entirety. The scheme, for a 16 storey residential tower on the site of the South East London Aquatic Centre in Woolwich, was granted planning permission in 2012 subject to a section 106 agreement requiring 20% affordable housing. Interestingly, the site has historic connections with King Henry VIII's boatyard, and parts of the adjacent Thames river wall had listed status. Due to the financial landscape, an application was lodged with the Royal Borough of Greenwich under section 106BA to remove the affordable housing requirement from the section 106 agreement. An appeal followed and a hearing took place in December 2013. The Inspector allowed the appeal and ruled that the affordable housing obligation be removed from the section 106 agreement for a period of three years. In his report, the Inspector analysed the updated viability assessment provided by the Appellant and concluded that 'the existing planning obligation requirement in relation to the provision of affordable housing results in the proposed

development being unviable and that the discharge of the affordable housing requirement would be reasonable'. Lead partner, and Head of Assersons' London office, Daniel Drukarz said 'This was one of the first three 'fast-track' appeals lodged by developers under the new legislation, and the very first appeal to modify successfully a s106 Agreement to remove entirely the affordable housing requirement. We are pleased that PINS allowed the appeal, which will allow a much needed housing development in South East London to proceed. Other developers should examine the viability of any unbuilt schemes as this legislation can potentially provide a strong boost to housing markets and local economies. We at Assersons are delighted to have been involved in this historic appeal, and this result shows that our firm is at the forefront of new and innovative aspects of planning law'. Barry Angel, CEO of Albany Homes, commented 'We are delighted with the result of this appeal. It was Assersons who first drew our attention to the change in legislation and the possibility of modifying the section 106 agreement on this basis, and we were happy to rely on the expertise of Daniel's specialist planning team to run the appeal. Daniel's team have efficiently and strategically led the entire process, and we would highly recommend them to other developers seeking planning assistance'.

Appeal Win in Dublin

Asserson Law Offices are delighted to announce a successful outcome in their efforts to support the Irish Jewish Museum's expansion plans in Dublin. The existing Museum, active since the mid 1980s, had outgrown its outdated premises in the Portobello area of Dublin, where the Jewish community first laid down its roots in the city more than a 100 years ago. A small synagogue was established on the site as early as 1912. Many of the Museum artefacts cannot be displayed properly due to lack of space, and numerous items have had to be stored off site. Lead partner, and Head of Assersons' London office, Daniel Drukarz said 'This is an important and exciting community project that has been years in the making. It has enjoyed the full support of the State and the personal backing of Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, who arranged for the state architects of the office of public works to prepare the plans and the present Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Much effort has been expended by the Museum trustees to work with the local community, and the expansion plans were carefully drawn up to ensure the amenity of neighbouring residents would be preserved.' He added 'Nonetheless, locals launched a third party appeal following the grant of planning consent by Dublin City Council earlier this year. We are pleased that the Irish Planning Board (An Bord Pleanala) dismissed the third party appeal following a 3 day hearing in November 2013, at which many dozens of objectors appeared, in a decision issued earlier this week. That is in no small part due to the focused approach of the Museum trustees in preparing their case and the high quality of the evidence given by the professional team that we assembled to oppose the third party appeal. The Board came to the right decision for a project that is important for all the communities in Dublin.' Edwin Alkin, a Museum trustee, commented 'The Irish Jewish Museum is very pleased with the decision of the Irish Planning Board. The Museum operates with a mission to be an educational centre and beacon for tolerance and co-existence in our society. We put our trust in the expertise and track record of Daniel and his specialist planning team, a decision that has now been entirely vindicated.

We valued their strategic and balanced approach throughout the process, and would have no hesitation in recommending them to others'.