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High Court dismisses claim for damages for negligent breach of duty against planning authority

25th October 2022

Primavera Associates Limited v Hertsmere Borough Council [2022] EWHC 2685 (Ch)

Michael Walsh has successfully defended Hertsmere Borough Council against a claim by a developer for £1.8million in damages for negligent breach of duty.

In a detailed judgment, Leech J dismissed the claim and found that no duty was owed by the planning authority to Primavera.  The outcome in this case reiterates an important point of principle that planning authorities do not owe a duty to take care to an applicant for planning permission in the exercise of their statutory functions.  On the facts, the claim also failed on the basis that Hertsmere had assumed a duty to Primavera in the course of deciding the planning applications.

Michael was led by Alexander Booth KC (a planning specialist at Francis Taylor Buildings) and instructed by Nicholas Bathurst and Charlie Mahoney at Clyde & Co on behalf of Hertsmere Borough Council and Zurich.

The full decision can be read here.

Expertise: Professional Negligence, Claims Against Construction Professionals


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