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Greene & Greene is a long established firm of solicitors based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Our lawyers advise individuals and businesses based all over the UK.

We regularly attract new clients who have been using firms in London, but now receive a more cost efficient and more personal service from us here in Bury St Edmunds.

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Monthly Archives

Entries in Environmental Law (5)


Flooding: An Act of God?

The dreadful effects of flooding have been graphically illustrated once again by the events in Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire and areas of Scotland over the course of the past few weeks. In legal terms flooding is often described as an act of God: in other words it is something for which no person can be held responsible. This is not always true for, on occasions, those affected by flooding can have a legal remedy.

If the way in which a landowner or occupier uses or manages his land generates flooding that would otherwise not have occurred or makes flooding worse, he may be liable for those consequences on a number of grounds, including negligence and nuisance.

We have successfully pursued flooding claims for a number of clients. Two examples include: -

  1. Recovering compensation for a client whose house was repeatedly flooded following a change of use of the adjoining farmland by its owners, which resulted in water run off whenever it rained heavily.
  2. Establishing liability against a landowner who mismanaged the repair and maintenance of, and the drainage associated with, a large pond on her land with the result that it overflowed during periods of heavy rain and flooded our client’s property. Our client’s compensation ran into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

If you have been affected by flooding or are worried about your responsibilities as a landowner or occupier please contact Michael Batty (michaelbatty@greene-greene.com / Telephone 01284 717414) or Andrea Nicholls (andreanicholls@greene-greene.com / Telephone 01284 717531) in our Dispute Resolution Team.  For more information please visit http://www.greene-greene.com/energy.html and follow @greenegreenelaw.


Wind Energy Generation Records Broken

The UK benefits from approximately 40% of all wind energy in Europe.  RenewablesUK say that statistics from National Grid confirm last year was a record year for wind energy generation, with onshore and offshore wind farms contributing 11% of the UK’s electricity (up from 9.5% in 2014).  More than 30% of UK households are benefitting from wind energy. 

Our Commercial Property Team has been involved in major projects concerning offshore wind farms, as well as smaller on shore schemes, for many years.  Greene & Greene is providing legal support to prestigious wind energy related schemes and demand for expertise in this sector is growing.

If you have an interest in developing a wind farm, large or small, we can support your project and our experienced legal team are on hand to assist with the complex tasks you will encounter.

For more information please visit http://www.greene-greene.com/energy.html and follow @greenegreenelaw. 




Greene & Greene Lawyer Appointed to Chair Environmental Association

Michael Batty, the head of the top ranked Dispute Resolution Department at Greene & Greene Solicitors in Bury St Edmunds, has been appointed to Chair the East Region Committee of UKELA – The United Kingdom Environmental Law Association. The East Region encompasses Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and part of Northamptonshire.

Founded in 1987 and with around 800 members, UKELA is a charity dedicated to working to improve the awareness and understanding of environmental law and to use the law to work for a better environment. The Association promotes discussion, training and networking opportunities amongst those interested in environmental law.

Michael said “I am delighted to be involved with the East Region Committee, which was established earlier this year. We held a successful seminar in Cambridge during March 2014 and have a very exciting joint seminar with the UK Section of PIANC (The World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure) fixed to take place at the London Gateway Port, involving not only a host of excellent speakers but also a guided tour of the Port”.

Many UKELA events are open to non-members as well as members and can be booked through www.ukela.org. Michael can be contacted by e-mail at michaelbatty@greene-greene.com or by telephone on 01284 717414. Follow Greene & Greene via Twitter @greenegreenelaw.


Recent changes to UK energy performance regulations

The Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 (‘EPBR’) came into force in January 2013, replacing all previous regulations and bringing in a number of changes, including:

  • Extending categories of buildings exempt from requirement to have an Energy Performance Certificate (“EPC”);
  • Requiring non-residential buildings visited frequently by the public to now display an EPC where they are above a certain size;
  • Changing the date of validity of EPCs;
  • Requiring the asset rating of a building to be stated in adverts for sale/rent in commercial media;
  • Improving the defence to a penalty charge notice for failure to have an EPC; and
  • Removing “gold-plating” beyond what’s required by the EU Directive.   

Overall, the EPBR simplifies and clarifies the law concerning energy performance. It introduces some significant changes, the majority of which will positively affect landlords and sellers.  However, some may be administratively or financially burdensome.  Buyers and tenants will generally have more information available to them about the energy efficiency of a building as a result, but should be aware that landlords may look to pass on any associated costs via the service charge.  Please note that there are currently several areas of ambiguity in this legislation that await clarification. 

The content of this article is for general information only.  If you require further advice on the impact of these legislative changes on your business or on steps to ensure compliance, please contact Greene & Greene's commercial property team on 01284 762211. 


Environmental Law: The Importance of Risk Assessments

Two very different environmental law cases that I have been involved with over recent years graphically illustrate the importance of risk assessments. In both these recent cases, although the extent of the outcome probably could not have been anticipated, had more thought been applied to the risk assessment process, the events that unfolded and the significant expense they generated would have undoubtedly been avoided.

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