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Piper Land Development (Solihull) ltd v (1) Rhondda CynonTaf County Borough Council (2) Richard Jones

DATE: 08 Oct 2012

It was not appropriate to adjourn proceedings in relation to the registration of a village green in order to await the outcome of judicial proceedings in respect of planning permission that had been granted in respect of the same piece of land. It was not possible to predict the length of the adjournment and it was undesirable to delay a trial that required the recollection of memories that went back 25 years.
The applicant (P) applied for an adjournment of the trial.

P owned part of a piece of land and obtained planning permission in 2008 to develop it. The land was registered as a village green in 2009. The instant proceedings were commenced in order to rectify the register on the ground that the land should never have been registered as a village green. The planning permission expired after three years but was then renewed by the local authority and the second respondent commenced judicial review proceedings in relation to that decision. P sought an adjournment of the instant proceedings until the conclusion of the judicial review proceedings.

HELD: (1) There were potentially several stages involved in determining the issue of planning permission: the judicial review proceedings; reconsideration by the local authority; and an appeal by either party. P might succeed at one stage and the process might be shorter but it was necessary to consider the longest period of time that could occur and the possibility that P might not succeed at any point. The instant proceedings might have to be put off until 2015 with a trial occurring some months later. All matters were difficult to predict. (2) The costs that could be incurred was an important consideration. The costs in each proceeding were very different with the instant proceedings being the more expensive of the two. If P were to succeed in the judicial review proceedings, costs in the instant proceedings would still be incurred and also costs wasted as there would be some reading back of the papers. It was undesirable to delay a trial that required recollection of memories that went back to events as long ago as 1987. (3) The two proceedings were not wholly unrelated. A determination on whether the land was a village green might play an important part in the judicial review proceedings. In the circumstances, it was not appropriate to grant an adjournment

Application refused.