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Case Studies

Sanctum Consultants provide a number of specialist services from Expert Reports, Representation at planning and licence hearings, attendance at Court and informal case resolution for a diverse Client base.

Health & Safety

LB Council -v- S Ltd

Following an accident investigation in an office, the local authority carried out an inspection of the premises and decided to take enforcement action against the business owners. We were able to advise the business owners that the local authority action should be directed at the owners of the building and not the owners of the business, as the company leased the office on an ad hoc basis. The local authority withdrew the notices under The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and instead took action against the owners of the building.

Housing

NB -v- Immigration Officer Heathrow

We were instructed by a Solicitor representing the appellant to prepare a report on housing conditions; to assist with an Immigration appeal to satisfy the Immigration Appeals Tribunal, that there would be no recourse to public funds if the appellant was allowed to enter the UK and reside with extended family members.

JM -v- Entry Clearance Officer Dhaka

We were instructed by a Solicitor on behalf of the sponsor to prepare a report on housing conditions. We were able to independently verify that the sponsor could provide suitable accommodation for the applicant without any recourse to public funds.

J -v- SL

We were instructed by a Solicitor on behalf of tenants in a rented townhouse about damp and disrepair within the property. Despite notifying the managing agents of the defects to the property, no action had been taken by the overseas owners. We carried out an inspection of the three storey property and found damp and mould in the basement, and risks to the safety of occupants, from the design and layout of the staircase. Our report identified several Category 1 hazards within the dwelling.

Council -v- Private Landlord

A private landlord was served with an improvement notice by officers from the local authority's environmental health department following complaints from the tenant. We were able to advise the landlord and help him comply with the requirements of the notice.

B -v- S Property Services

We received instructions to carry out an inspection of a basement flat occupied by a young family. The flat was in severe disrepair with damp and mould in all the habitable rooms. The tenant used our expert report to take action against the landlord for nuisance and damages. The landlord offered to compensate the tenant and pay the costs for our Expert Report. The tenant subsequently vacated the property and found a safe home to move into.

Land

A -v- CV

We were instructed by a insurer on behalf of a commercial Client in a dispute which had arisen over land between the commercial Client and a neighbouring residential property owner. The neighbour had annexed part of the commercial Client's land to access his rear garden for a residential garage. We were able to carry out a detailed and extensive investigation, which proved that the land had always been in the ownership of the commercial Client. The Boundary between the properties was established and a new fence erected to protect the commercial Client's property.

S and I -v- P

We were asked to assist a private Client to determine the boundary and rights of way on a shared driveway. The neighbouring property owner was in the process of erecting a fence along the shared driveway. We were able to carry out a detailed investigation confirming that an easement had been in place since the properties were first built and that neither party had a right to restrict the others access to the shared driveway.

F -v- C

We were instructed by a private Client in a dispute which had arisen over land previously owned by a third party between two houses. Our Clients neighbour purchased the land from the absent owner and attempted to restrict our Clients access to the land. The land had always been freely accessed by our Clients from a gate in their rear garden. The new owner/ neighbour wished to restrict our Clients access and use it for vehicle storage. We were able to produce a comprehensive report, proving categorically that the our Clients land had long enjoyed an easement, over the piece of land newly acquired by the neighbour. Our Clients were able to satisfactorily settle the matter without a full Court hearing.

Licensing

Resident -v- Brewery and Borough Council

We were instructed by a private Client to prepare an Expert Report in respect of an objection to a premises licence application by a large Brewery Chain. Our assessment concluded that the structure of the public house would not be not suitable for containing noise from late night, loud, music events. And would give rise to a public nuisance. The premises licence was subsequently varied on appeal at the Magistrates Court, restricting late night events and safeguarding the amenity of residents.

C -v- Restaurant

We were instructed by a private Client to prepare an Expert Report in respect of an objection to a premises licence application for extended opening hours, and live and regulated music. The new Restaurant, which had previously operated as a Wine Bar, had a long history of non compliance with licensing conditions, and complaints of noise nuisance. We carried out acoustic monitoring and a nuisance assessment, producing an Expert Report on behalf of the Client for submission at the licence hearing. We also represented the Client at the Committee hearing, where the Restaurant agreed to remove live and regulated music from the licence application.

Council -v- SR Ltd

We were instructed to advise a commercial Client, following the service of a Section 80 abatement notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, for alleged noise nuisance emanating from the Clients Bar and Restaurant. We were able to advise the Client on how to appeal to the Magistrates Court. Our subsequent investigation identified that no visits had taken place by any local authority officers at the dates and times of the alleged noise nuisance. And that on at least one of the occasions, that it was alleged the Bar and Restaurant had caused a noise nuisance from live music, no such events had been booked at the establishment. Based on our findings the local authority took the decision to withdraw their abatement notice.

S -v- AP

We were instructed to advise a private Client about a premises licence application by a public house, intending to hold regular live entertainment events. We were able to carry out an assessment of the premises identifying noise breakout points and showing the quiet evening background noise levels in the semi rural location of the premises. The private Client was able to successfully challenge the licence application at a subsequent Committee hearing based on the evidence of our Experts.

H -v- Z

We were instructed to advise a private Client about an application to the local authority for a premises licence Review; for a Bar with regular live and recorded entertainment events. We were able to carry out an assessment of the noise impact on the Client's home situated above the Bar. Our Expert Report also identifying several noise breakout points, and lack of proper sound insulation between the licensed premises and flat above. The Bar Owners voluntarily agreed to remove live music events from the premises licence and implement a programme of noise mitigation measures.  

J -v- WSC Llp and LB Council

We were instructed to prepare an Expert Report for a private Client, who had called for a Review of a premises licence for a Sports Club holding regular live and recorded entertainment events. We were able to carry out an assessment of the noise impact on the Client's home. Our Expert Report also showed the quiet evening and night time background noise levels in the otherwise mainly residential location of the licensed premises. The local authority’s Licence Committee failed to implement sufficiently robust licence conditions and the Client appealed to the Magistrates Court. We were able to arrange for the Client to be represented by a Barrister, skilled in Licensing law. The Court ruled in favour of the Client removing live music events from the premises licence, restricting amplified music events and included a condition, that all music should be inaudible at the Client's home after 11pm Sunday to Thursday, and after midnight Friday to Saturday, including Bank Holidays. The Court ordered that the Club should pay in excess of £8,000 costs.

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Noise

W -v- NR

We were instructed to prepare an Expert Report on noise nuisance arising from the installation of two railtrack whistleboards near our Client's property. Our Client's home was affected on a daily basis from unreasonable and excessive noise from train horns. The Client had repeatedly requested that the Rail authority remove the signs, without any success. We assisted the Client with drafting A 'Notice of Intention' to apply for a summons at the local Magistrates Court. Within a week the whistleboards were removed.

Print Company -v- Complainant

We were instructed by a commercial Client to provide advice about a complaint from a nearby residential occupier. The residential neighbour was concerned about noise from machines from the commercial premises, clearly audible late at night and early in the morning, including weekends. We carried out an inspection of the commercial premises and were able to identify ‘noise breakout’ points within the premises and advise the Client. The Client implemented noise mitigation measures based on our advice, and was able to avoid costly enforcement action by the local authority and or private legal action by the residential occupant.  

M -v- M

We were approached by a private Client who had already instigated proceedings in the Magistrates Court under Section 82 of the Environment Protection Act 1990. We carried out acoustic monitoring and a nuisance assessment, producing an Expert Report on behalf of the Client. Our assessment concluded that the noise from the use of an old tennis court for inappropriate ball games was resulting in a severe detriment to our Client's wellbeing and amenity. We were also able to arrange for the Client to be represented by a Barrister, skilled in Environmental law. The case was settled in favour of the Client who was awarded £30,000 costs and compensation.

H -v- CPS

We were instructed to prepare an Expert Report for a private Client, following an application for a summons to abate a noise nuisance under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The Client had been disturbed for a long period of time from unreasonable noise during the day and night, on a daily basis, from noise from a pump room. The Managing Agent had failed to remedy the lack of insulation to the pump room or take any other effective action to reduce or abate the nuisance. Following our assessment we arranged for the Client to be represented by a Barrister, skilled in Environmental law, from leading London legal Chambers. The Court ruled in favour of the Client, ordering that the Managing Agents should abate the nuisance and pay in excess of £3,000 costs.

Nuisance

M -v- S T Garage

We received instructions to carry out an investigation for odour nuisance from a commercial premises, which was spray painting vehicles. Our inspection involved an an olfactory assessment and site inspection, which revealed that open air paint spraying at the Garage occurred on a regular basis. Our report concluded that nearby residents were likely to suffer ill health effects from the Isocyanate Paints being used in the Garage.

Residents -v- Construction Company

We received instructions to carry out an investigation for dust and noise nuisance from the activities of a construction company carrying out extensive building works. Residents regularly experienced high levels of noise late at night and during weekends. Nearby residential properties were also being affected by accumulations of dust on washed clothing and soft furnishings such as bedroom curtains. Residents used our expert report to take action against the construction company for nuisance and damages.

Personal Injury

N -v- TG Ltd

We were instructed to prepare an Expert Report for a private Client, following an accident in a hotel. The Client, who was on a business trip, had fallen from a landing down a flight of stairs sustaining injuries, requiring hospitalisation. We were able to provide a Report confirming that the hall and stair carpet was ill fitting leading to the Client’s accident and injury. The hotel settled the claim, without the need for a lengthy Court hearing. The Client received £20,000 in costs and damages.

K -v- BC

We were instructed to prepare an Expert Report for a private Client, following an accident in an office. The accident occurred in serviced offices, where lights had been manually switched off by maintenance staff leaving the building in darkness. The Client fell down several flights of stairs, whilst exiting the building. We reviewed the company’s Health & Safety and Risk Assessment policies and found that the systems did not fail to safety. The company initially disputed the claim, but on receipt of our Expert Report agreed to settle the case for an undisclosed sum.

L -v- E

We were instructed to prepare an Expert Report for a private Client, following a claim for personal injury as result of working in a noisy workshop. The Client worked in the office of the small manufacturing workshop, but was regularly exposed to loud noise from cutting machines. Our Expert Report found that cutting machinery was used outside designated sound proof enclosures. And that the Company had failed to carry out a risk assessment of risks to noise exposure to office staff or, provide any PPE. On receipt of our Expert Report the company agreed to settle the case for an undisclosed sum. The Client subsequently left the company to seek alternative employment.

P -v- Restaurant

We were instructed to prepare an Expert Report for a private Client, following a visit to a restaurant. The Client and three other members of the party experienced illness from diarrhoea and vomiting. We conducted an unsolicited visit to the Restaurant and were able to gain access to the kitchen area. Our inspection identified poor hygiene practices and poor food handling. The Client used our findings to seek an informal settlement for personal injury from the restaurant owners.

Planning

LD -v- LB Council

We received instructions to carry out an environmental impact assessment in support of a planning application for residential dwellings adjacent to established light industrial units. Our report was able to show that that there would be no detriment to the amenity of any future residents. The application was approved by the local authority.

ZM -v- LB Council

We were instructed to prepare an Expert Report on behalf of a commercial developer. The Client had applied for planning permission for change of use of a commercial building. Several nearby residents had objected that the development would interfere with their visual and auditory amenity. Our Expert Report was able to recommend a number of mitigation measures to safeguard the amenity of local residents. The local authority was satisfied that the scheme would meet the objectives of the authority’s Local Plan and residents subsequently withdrew their objections.

DN -v- Borough Council

We were instructed to prepare an Expert Report on behalf of a property developer seeking to convert a single family dwelling into flats. The property was adjacent to a railway line and the local authority required the developer to show that future occupants would not be subjected to unreasonable noise or vibration. We conducted acoustic and nuisance assessments and were able to recommend a series of mitigation measures. The local authority approved the application.

Parish Council -v- Shooting Club

We were instructed to prepare an Expert Report on behalf of a Parish Council in respect of a planning application by a shooting club. The club sought to extensively extend opening and shooting hours, which would have resulted in an even greater diminution of amenity for residents in a village location. Our Expert Report identified that residents were already regularly subjected to unreasonable noise disturbance amounting to nuisance. The shooting club subsequently withdrew their planning application.

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