Notice to terminate a licence of land used for a public purpose

In The Governing Body of the Henrietta Barnett School v The Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute (93 LRG 470) HGSI had (for many decades) allowed the School to use its land. HGSI then purported to terminate the licence on 9 months’ notice (having been advised that the licence could be terminated at will). It was held that although HGSI was entitled to terminate the licence the notice given was inadequate. Just as in Canadian Pacific Railway Company v The King the fact that peremptory termination of the licence would have an adverse impact on the public was a relevant consideration. In the absence of express provision as to notice, there must be implied into the notice a requirement to give sufficient time to allow the school to make alternative arrangements and to safeguard the public service.

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