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Malvern Mansions Limited V The London Borough Of Islington, High Court, Queen's Bench Division, April 2012

Asitha represented the Council in its application to discharge an interim injunction preventing its planning enforcement department from taking direct action.

The Council had started to take direct action pursuant to s.178 TCPA 1990 to remedy breaches of planning control where former office and residential premises had been converted into a hotel use with extensions. The unauthorised change of use and extensions had been the subject of an Enforcement Notice which was upheld on appeal.

The Owner obtained an interim injunction to prevent the Council from completing the works and sought to resist the application to discharge on the basis that the decision to take action under s.178 was unlawful and that an extant planning application should be determined.

In allowing the Council's application and discharging the injunction, Mr. Justice Underhill considered the case of R (Patel) v Greenwich LBC (1986) 51 P&CR 282 and in particular the Council's duty to investigate, before taking direct action, representations made by a party which allegedly was not served with an Enforcement Notice and which sought to raise issues not considered as part of the Enforcement Notice proceedings.

The Owner has sought permission to appeal from the Court of Appeal.