High Court delivers landmark judgment in the Blackbushe Airport case on the extent of the curtilage of a building


23 Apr 2020


On 23 April 2020, the High Court (Holgate J) provided welcome clarification of the meaning of the phrase “the curtilage of a building” in the Commons Act 2006.  In R (Hampshire County Council) v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [2020] EWHC 959 (Admin), the Court considered in detail the cases on this vexed term in a variety of statutory contexts.  The Court ruled that the Inspector had adopted an incorrect approach in deciding whether the extensive operational area of a working airport fell within the curtilage of the terminal building and could therefore be de-registered as common land under the Commons Act 2006.  The decision will be essential reading in relation to common land and also in any context in which the term “curtilage” needs to be interpreted and applied.


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