Council publishes Independent Report

Wirral Borough Council News from wirralview.com
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Council publishes Independent Report

Post by Wirral Council News » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:15 am

Read full article https://www.wirral.gov.uk/news/30-08-20 ... ent-report

Published by Wirral Council News on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 09:10:47 +0000 https://www.wirral.gov.uk

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diggingdeeper
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Re: Council publishes Independent Report

Post by diggingdeeper » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:35 pm

Well that was a complete whitewash.

The council say they had no intention of developing the site when the non-hostile notice was given and now Graham Burgess said "It is a site that has been earmarked for redevelopment for many years", either it was planned to be developed or it was going to be re-leased, it can't be both!!!!

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Re: Council publishes Independent Report

Post by level80 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:07 pm

Well as I think it refers to in the report. If in 2012, they'd given them a further three years lease it would've come up for renewal in May 2015.

The possession order comes into effect in February 2015, so even if Wirral Council had renewed the lease, it wouldn't have made (much) difference to the way things turned out as when it got to 2015, they'd be doing what they did back in 2012 (sending out an eviction notice, getting a possession order etc).

OK, if they had been more honest and upfront then Fernbank Farm would've applied to the court for a new lease. In theory they have a right under s.55 , see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Eli ... section/55 to ask the court to look at it again if it was "made to appear to the court that the order was obtained, or the court induced to refuse the grant, by misrepresentation or the concealment of material facts, the court may order the landlord to pay to the tenant such sum as appears sufficient as compensation for damage or loss sustained by the tenant as the result of the order or refusal."

However Wirral Council is already paying compensation without being sued, probably because if they were sued the outcome might not just be compensation but the possession order overturned (which would be embarrassing for Wirral Council).

"Concealment of material facts" is the key issue at point here. Wirral Council as landlord deliberately concealed material facts from the tenants, both before during and after the case. The deputy judge gave Wirral Council a warning at a hearing in November 2013 to Wirral Council that they had to be upfront and candid about everything with both the court and the tenants, sadly they weren't (whether through accident or design I don't know).

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Re: Council publishes Independent Report

Post by diggingdeeper » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:16 pm

I assume it is compounded by what date the "green belt" status was lifted, if it had gone to court while it was still green belt then the council would have no justification in not renewing the lease.

It concerns me that the council can hugely change the value of land by changing its protected status despite the council having a vested pecuniary interest. On the other hand, I can't see a way round this.

I guess a test would be whether the protected status would have been lifted for a private individual or company in the same circumstances, I personally don't think it would unless you are Tranmere Rovers ;)

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