The Belfast Telegraph published an article this week on a £55m 26,000 square metre, 14-storey office block planned for the Central Station area in Belfast. It was planned to create over 2,500 permanent jobs and create 350 jobs in the building process but could be scuppered due to public objection with a judicial review against Belfast City Council being granted by a High Court Judge.

What is Judicial Review Insurance?

A judicial review indemnity policy provides cover for financial loss arising in the event of a judicial review of a planning or other decision of a public authority.

Judicial review insurance is relevant if you intend to purchase property with the benefit of, or develop it in accordance with, planning permission granted or shortly to be granted.

Why should the risk of judicial review be a concern?

Planning applications can be unpopular with the existing local community who may make strenuous efforts to try to prevent or delay the development if possible. The judicial review process can frustrate the timescales of a development leading to increased costs and therefore reduced profit margins for a developer. The planning authority may be unable to re-grant planning consent. This could leave the developer owning a site that is not worth anywhere near as much as they paid for it and they could suffer wasted costs.

Why take out Judicial Review Indemnity Insurance?

If a judicial review challenge is upheld and your planning permission is quashed, the developer could suffer significant losses including loss in property value, abortive costs of works, delay costs, increased lending costs, penalties under agreements with third parties.

Judicial review insurance can assist in:

  • Providing financial security and peace of mind
  • Removing potential hurdles to obtaining funding
  • Avoiding initial delays that could jeopardise the development

Other policies to consider - Rights to Light insurance

Constructing a building that infringes on neighbouring properties’ rights to light—that is, it obstructs their sunlight—can lead to large out-of-court settlements or a halt to construction, or even to demolition. Spare yourself this costly mistake—click on the link below to learn more about rights to light and learn to assess your risk before your building goes up.

Protect your bottom-line by contacting the construction insurance professionals at Willis Insurance & Risk Management on 02890 329042 or email 

Rights to Light insurance

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