Christopher has over forty years experience in general chancery and commercial practice following his graduation from Cambridge with a starred first. He is a property specialist with a leading specialisation in Assets of Community Value and Community Infrastructure Levy.
As a chancery practitioner Christopher’s practice includes trusts, wills, charities, professional negligence, partnership and company. He acts in such matters in contentious and non-contentious cases.
His clients include local authorities, property developers, land owners, business undertakings and private individuals.
Qualified to accept instructions through Public Access scheme but not to conduct litigation.
Christopher is a specialist in the area of Assets of Community Value and advises listing authorities, landowners, property developers and community groups.
He has appeared in appeals to the First-tier Tribunal and advised on appeals decided on paper as well as on community nominations, listing decisions and review decisions and the consequences of an ACV listing.
Christopher has prepared a guide to Assets of Community Value providing a comprehensive consideration of the statutory provisions and reported decisions up to 8th June 2018 – PDF copy. He has written many articles on the subject which are to be found under Further Publications.
Examples of work
- Advice regarding compensation claims
- Advice whether community use is an ancillary use
- Advice on selling development site which is ACV listed
- Advice on impact of partial use of building for community
- Advice on sale of part of listed ACV
- Advice whether golf course qualifies as ACV
- Advice on validity of notice to be treated as bidder.
- St. John’s Ambulance v Teignbridge DC acted on behalf of authority resisting appeal over compensation claim. Rebutted claim to capital loss and interest.
- King v Chiltern DC – appeal to First-tier Tribunal concerning listing of public house as asset of community value which owner claimed to be residence
- ZB Investments v Croydon LBC – acted on behalf of the successful authority in ACV appeal concerning conversion of ACV listed public house to flats without planning permission.
- Registered Proprietors of Uptin House v Newcastle City Council – successful appeal on behalf of owners removing building in multiple use from ACV list
- Adams v Ashfield DC – acted for successful authority on appeal by owner of Portland Arms
- Application for leave to appeal to Upper Tribunal
- Appeal of compensation claim
This subject is a particular expertise of Christopher which fits in with his general advisory work on behalf of developers and authorities.
As well as advisory work Christopher appeared in the Planning Court for the successful authority in the first judicial review case on the operation of the CIL regime – R (oao Hourhope Limited) v Shropshire CC  EWHC 518 (Admin).
To assist with a better understanding of CIL Christopher has prepared a guide. The fifth edition covers the CIL regime up to 24th April 2015 – PDF copy.
The relationship between section 106 planning obligations and CIL has thrown up a number of issues adversely affecting infrastructure funding. Christopher considers these in a paper arising from a series of presentations given at seminars arranged by the Planning Advisory Service. This paper is up to date to 11th March 2016 – PDF copy.
There are now 159 authorities which have introduced CIL as at 1st June 2019 and these are listed in Part 1 of CIL rates introduced by Charging Authorities. In part 2 there are listed the authorities which have or are carrying out a review of the authority’s current CIL rates – PDF copy.
Examples of work
- Entitlement to exemption for residential extension
- Complications arising from pre-CIL parent permission and post-CIL section 73 permission
- basement development
- chargeable developments under general consent
- non-compliance and self-build exemption
- construction of enclosed swimming pools
- demolition of football stadium for residential development
- demolition after grant of outline planning permission
- whether conversion of barn self-build
- acted for successful authority in judicial review proceedings against decision to refuse demolition deduction – R (oao Hourhope Limited) v Shropshire CC  EWHC 518 (Admin)
- statutory appeal regarding application of indexation element in reg. 128A and subsequent judicial review
- advice on whether to seek judicial review of appointed person’s decision on lawful use of building
- advice on reply to response in surcharge appeal
A significant portion of Christopher’s practice has always been focused on property. He advises on difficult points, the structuring of transactions and preparing drafts. In recent years transactions involving overage and planning promotion agreements have played a greater role. The spectrum of transactions he is instructed on run from large scale residential and shopping developments to single dwellings or offices.
Clients range from large scale developers, niche builders and local authorities to individual householders. In addition he acts in contentious property matters including disputes over easements, restrictive covenants, enforcement of charges and guarantees, leases and sales of land.
Throughout his years in practice there has been an emphasis on drafting and tackling complex issues.
Examples of work
- Refinancing by lending consortium secured on commercial property portfolio
- Restructuring of Superstore leasing arrangement
- Advice on enforceability of restrictive covenants
- Advice on assignment of Sharia-law compliant lease
- Drafting regime for carrying out substantial works prior to completion
- Drafting and advising on planning promotion agreement with regard to horticultural land
- Advice on operation of overage agreements and drafting overage provisions
- Advice on drainage surface water from development site
- Drafting of underlease for purpose of dividing up building
- Assignment of interest in trust of flat
- Advice on responsibility for state of cliff face
- Advice for landlord regarding destruction of house let on long lease
- Rebutting claim to flat under section 423 Insolvency Act 1986
- Application for title of registered land based on adverse possession
- Enforcement of sharia-law compliant charge
- Opposition to application to register public highway
- Disputes over width of right of way to vacant factory and field
- Enforcement of obligation to carry out works prior to completion of sale
- University of East London Higher Education Corpn v Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council and others  EWHC 2710 (Ch) dispute over validity of restrictive covenants affecting Dagenham
- University of East London Higher Education Corp v Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council and others (No 2)  EWHC 2908 (Ch) – confirming costs of local authorities on indemnity basis
- Amsprop Trading Limited v Harris Distribution  2 EGLR 78 – head landlord seeking to enforce covenants directly against a sub-tenant
- Dolgellau Golf Club v Hett  2 EGLR 75 – Court of Appeal decision on landlord’s opposition to grant of new tenancy on ground that required for landlord’s business
The nature of the transactions dealt with in Christopher’s practice is not limited exclusively to property matters but ranges much wider in the commercial field. It includes drafting distribution agreements and agreements for sale and purchase of shares. On the contentious side it includes matters such as disputes over the sale of companies bringing in issues such as the enforcement of guarantees and the
Examples of work
- Drafting and advice on distribution agreements
- Advice on shareholders agreement
- Advice on pre-emption rights over shares
- Defence of claim for breach of warranty/misrepresentation relating to sale of company
- Action to enforce guarantee in loan notes
- Enforcement of obligation to carry out works prior to completion of sale
- Directors disqualification proceedings
As a general chancery practitioner Christopher’s practice includes trusts, wills, charities, professional negligence, partnership and company. He acts in such matters in contentious and non-contentious cases. On the contentious side he has acted in disputes over religious centres
Examples of work
- Advice on control of religious centre
- Drafted documentation for division of properties held on trust by family
- Rebutted application to appoint management trustees running religious centre
- Contested construction of gift in will
- Dispute over ownership of registered land on termination of strict settlement
- Dispute over division of properties held jointly by estates of two brothers
- Adams v Ashfield DC CR/2017/0010
- Registered proprietors of Uptin House v Newcastle CC CR 2017 0006
- ZB Investments v Croydon LBC (CR/2016/0009)
- King v Chiltern DC (CR/2015/0025)
- R (oao Hourhope Limited) v Shropshire CC  EWHC 518 (Admin)
- University of East London Higher Education Corpn v Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council and others  EWHC 2710 (Ch)
- Lau -v- Redpalm (Groucho Club – rent review)
- Amsprop Trading Limited v Harris Distribution  1 WLR 1025 .
- Dolgellau Golf Club v Hett (1998) 76 P&CR 526
- University of East London Higher Education Corp v Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council and others (No 2)  EWHC 2908 (Ch)
- St John’s Ambulance v Teignbridge DC CR/2018/0003
- Problems with service of CIL documents – Local Government Lawyer 12th April 2019
- CIL and Professional Negligence- Lexology March 2019
- New recreational easements – personal website 2nd December 2018
- Compensation under the Assets of Community Value – Local Government Lawyer 30th November 2018
- Residential extensions and CIL – Local Government Lawyer 7th September 2018
- Responding to Assets of Community Value left vacant – Local Government Lawyer 31st August 2018
- Recent pitfalls with overage – Lexology 6th August 2018
- Footpaths and Assets of Community Value – Waymark Vol 31 Issue 1
- CIL: Indexation and planning permissions – PLJ February 2018
- Continuing issues with CIL – Local Government Lawyer 15th December 2017
- Fresh Developments in Assets of Community Value Regime – Local Government Lawyer 1st December 2017
- Protection of public house – Open to attack? – PLJ November 2017
- Retrospective planning permissions and Community Infrastructure Levy – Lexology 11th July 2017
- Lessons for developers from CIL enforcement appeals – Lexology 26th June 2017
- CIL Indexation and variations of pre-CIL planning permissions – Lexology 8th March 2017
- Fresh points on Assets of Community Value – Local Government Lawyer February 2017
- Public houses and the ACV regime – Local Government Lawyer 15thSeptember 2016
- Battles to convert ACV listed public houses to dwellings – Local Government Lawyer 11th June 2016
- Further development of the Assets of Community Value Regime – Local Government Lawyer 23rd June 2016
- Is it lawful to charge CIL by treating two planning permissions as a single planning permission? – Local Government Lawyer March 2016
- Infrastructure shortfall due to pooling restriction – Local Government Lawyer February 2016
- Easements – class still open Lexology January 2016
- Switching planning permissions – challenging pooled contributions” in Lexology 24th November 2015
- CIL regulation 123 limitations and planning obligations – an update of a paper first given to a Regional Planning Obligations Group meeting
- ACV- further guidance from two recent rulings – Local Government Lawyer 26th November 2015 [ PDF]
- Guidance gleamed from ACV appeals and Planning Inspectors’ decisions – Local government Lawyer 3rd September 2015
- Planning obligations – what contribution can they still make to funding infrastructure? Local Government Lawyer May 2015
- Judicial review of claim for CIL demolition deduction – Corporate Briefing March 2015
- Overage – Westlaw Insight On-line Encyclopaedia
- Community Infrastructure overview – Westlaw UK Insight On-line Encyclopaedia
- Property Cases update – Corporate Briefing February 2015
- Assets of Community Value – Westlaw UK Insight On-line Encyclopaedia
- Assets of Community Value under the Localism Act – Blighting of development or boosting the local community July/August Corporate Briefing
- The cost of nature – Local Government Lawyer 24th April 2014
- February Property Update – March and April 2014 Corporate Briefing
- Amendments to Community Infrastructure Levy – work in progress or overload? February 2014 Corporate Briefing
- Numerous ingenious attempts to reduce or avoid unoccupied property rates – October 2013 Corporate Briefing
- Merciless application of section 2 1989 Act – September 2013 Corporate Briefing
- Late completion tempts premature termination – September 2013 Property Lawyer
- Avoiding problems with easements on sales of part – June 2013 Property Lawyer
- Community Infrastructure Levy Reforms – May 2013 Corporate Briefing
- A minefield for the unwary litigant in person – Adverse possession and registered land (Corporate Briefing – June 2013)
- Unexpected CIL consequences from unimplemented permissions (28th January 2013 Property Law Journal)
- Community Infrastructure Levy – From the developer’s perspective
- Unnecessary traps when companies execute documents – (Corporate Briefing – February 2012)
- Problems for proposed development arising from public acquisition of drains (Corporate Briefing – September 2012)
- Construing conveyancing documents – a major change in the Court’s approach
- Can a criminal squatter acquire title by adverse possession? (2012 New Law Journal 1309)
- Don’t mess with parking rights (Corporate Briefing – September 2012)
- The imposition of fiduciary obligations in property ventures (Corporate Briefing – September 2012)
- Beware Break Clauses (Corporate Briefing – June 2012)
- Protecting developers from protests (Corporate Briefing – May 2012)
- Transfer to public ownership of private sewers and lateral drains (Corporate Briefing – June 2011)
- Warning to developers to act as a good neighbour (Corporate Briefing – November 2011)
MA (Cantab) first class with distinction
Senior Harris scholar (Downing College)
Walter Wigglesworth scholar
Lord Denning scholar
Chancery Bar Association
Property Bar Association
Former Head of Chambers
Christopher Cant is an independent self-employed barrister registered with the Bar Standards Board of England (ref. no 11136); whose practice is governed by the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales which code can be found at www.barstandardsboard.org.uk; has full professional liability insurance provided by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Limited (ref BM 2930/007) (details of the world-wide cover are provided at www.barmutual.co.uk); is registered for VAT (reg. no. 234 5450 77); and can be contacted during chambers opening hours by telephone at 02074045055 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
When instructed through solicitors his usual terms of service are to be found at www.9stonebuildings.com/terms but those terms do not apply to instructions accepted on the basis of a conditional fee agreement, damages-based agreements, publicly funded work, or on instructions received from direct access clients.