Hackett v Housing Cttee

CourtRoyal Court
Judge(Ereaut, Deputy Bailiff and Jurats Luce and Le Brocq):
Judgment Date06 August 1970
Date06 August 1970
(Ereaut, Deputy Bailiff and Jurats Luce and Le Brocq):

V. Vibert for the appellant;

V.A. Tomes, Solicitor General, for the respondent.

Housing—appeals—powers of court—on judicial review, to consider whether proceedings before Committee generally satisfactory, whether Committee legally entitled to make decision and whether could be reasonably reached in circumstances

Housing—application for housing consent—consent by Housing Committee—interpretation—if stated ground of rejection capable of more than one interpretation, rational and proper explanation preferred to one based on alleged impropriety

Housing—application for housing consent—"undue increase in price"—value calculated on existing land use unless development permission in existence—Housing Committee entitled to make consent to proposed price conditional on obtaining development permission—if developed use not known, proposed price likely to show "undue increase"

EREAUT, DEPUTY BAILIFF: On 7th January, 1969, the appellant and the company De Lecq Hotels (Jersey) (1956) Limited (hereinafter referred to as "the applicant company") applied to the Housing Committee of the States for consent to the sale of Grève de Lecq Barracks by the former to the latter for the sum of £12,000.

It is common ground that the Barracks comprise several dilapidated buildings on a site measuring one and a half vergées overlooking Grève de Lecq Bay.

In paragraph (13) of the application form the purpose for which the property was intended to be used was given as—

"Acquiring with view to commercial development at some future date, adjoins property already owned by Applicant Company on two sides."

On 13th January, 1969, the Committee considered the application and refused consent on the ground that—

"the proposed transaction amount represented an undue increase in the price of land."

The appellant now appeals against that rejection.

Having regard to the grounds of the appeal, and to certain allegations made on behalf of the appellant during the hearing, it is necessary to refer to a previous application by the appellant for the consent of the Committee to sell the Barracks, and to correspondence relating to that application and to the application which gives rise to this appeal.

On 23rd July, 1968, the appellant and a Mr. and Mrs. Morrison applied to the Housing Committee for consent to the sale of the Barracks by the former to the latter for the sum of £12,000.

The purpose for which the property was intended to be used was given as—

"Demolition of the smaller buildings and conversion of the largest as a private residence. Plans in course of preparation for submission to I.D.C., which is informally aware."

On 29th July, 1968, that application was refused on the grounds that—

"the land should more properly be acquired by a person having at least five years' residential claim on the Island and the proposed transaction amount appeared to represent an undue increase in the price of land."

On 30th August, 1968, Mr. Vibert wrote to the Committee asking it to reconsider the application. In support he made the following points—

1. The property had been valued professionally in June 1967 at £10,500.

2. Although, because of sewerage disposal problems, the Island Development Committee had expressed the view in April 1967 "that no development of these premises could take place and that they should be demolished", in June 1968 Mr. Morrison's architects reported, after discussion with the Public Health Department and Planning Office, that "the senior Planning Officer considers that his Committee will have no objection to a section of the Barracks being converted into a private dwelling and the remainder demolished, provided that the character and scale of the buildings to be used is retained".

3. Because the conversion would be an expensive development, the final cost of the residence would take it outside the price range of properties which was normally reserved for bona fide inhabitants.

Following the receipt of that letter, on 18th September, 1968, the Housing Officer wrote to the Chief Executive Officer of the Island Development Committee on the matter. After informing him of the contents of Mr. Vibert's letter, and in particular of the two references to the views imputed to the Island Development Committee and the Senior Planning Officer respectively, the Housing Officer continued—

"Before I ask the Housing Committee to consider this appeal, I should be grateful if you would confirm my impression that you had indicated that the Island Development Committee was seeking to acquire the property on behalf of the public for demolition, and in order to preserve the amenity of the area. Although this would not necessarily be a reason for refusal by the Housing Committee, I do not think that there is any chance of a newcomer being permitted to purchase this property for development, and it would assist matters if I were to know the latest position as far as your Committee is concerned."

On 25th September, 1968, the Housing Officer received the following reply—

"Grève de Lecq Barracks

I refer to your memorandum dated 18th September on the above mentioned subject. This matter will be put to the Committee for consideration as soon as possible, and I will let you know its view on the matter. However, I do believe that an application should be submitted and decided upon by the Island Development Committee before any housing consent is considered and issued.

Apparently, the Planning Officer did see Mr. Le Sueur of Le Sueur & Baker, who gave him to understand that his client wished to...

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3 cases
  • Housing Committee v Phantesie Investments Ltd
    • Jersey
    • Court of Appeal
    • 10 July 1985
    ...86; 47 L.G.R. 87; 113 J.P. 120; 93 Sol. Jo. 60. (12) Habin v. Gambling Licensing Auth., 1971 J.J. 1637. (13) Hackett v. Housing Cttee., 1970 J.J. 1523. (14) Hamon v. Housing Cttee., 1962 J.J. 197. (15) Minister of Natl. Rev. v. Wrights' Canadian Ropes Ltd., [1947] A.C. 109 ([1946] UKPC 51);......
  • Jersey New Waterworks Company Ltd v Grouville Rate Assessment Committee, St. Helier Rate Assessment Committee and Supervisory Committee of The Constables
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 16 June 1994
    ...R. & V.R. 291. Evans v. Agriculture & Fisheries Cttee., 1983 J.J. 89. Garton v. Hunter, [1969] 1 All E.R. 451. Hackett v. Housing Cttee., 1970 J.J. 1523. Housing Cttee. v. Phantesie Invs. Ltd., 1985-86 JLR 96. Imperial College of Science & Technology v. Ebdon, [1986] R.A. 233. Le Gros v. Ho......
  • Pinel v Housing Cttee
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 1 October 1970
    ...Committee to develop this property has not been sought. A similar argument was considered in the case of Hackett v. Housing Cttee. (1970 J.J. 1523), and we quote with approval the following extract from the judgment of the Court in that case— "The value of any land must largely depend upon ......

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