Case law - Compensation for land

6th April 2017


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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Built environment ,
  • Planning ,
  • Property

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IEMA

In Homes and Communities Agency v J S Bloor (Wilmslow) Ltd, the Supreme Court allowed a landowner's appeal, confirming the award of compensation by the Upper Tribunal.

It also agreed that the tribunal had been entitled to regard the underlying policies as potentially relevant to the prospect of development of the land subject to compulsory acquisition. This judgment demonstrates that, when applying the planning cancellation assumption under the Land Compensation Act 1961 (LA 1961 and now amended), relevant planning policies can be assumed to remain in place notwithstanding the assumed cancellation of the scheme. The weight to be attached to such policies, however, is a matter for the tribunal.

The case concerned the assessment of compensation arising from the compulsory acquisition of two parcels of grazing land. The land formed part of a larger area subject to a compulsory purchase order (CPO), which was to be redeveloped into a business park.

The general principle of compensation for compulsory purchase is that the claimant should be no worse or better off financially. Determining the value of land compulsorily acquired is based on several rules and assumptions. This includes the no scheme rule, enshrined in LA 1961. The Supreme Court had to grapple with the extent to which courts should rely on the rule.

It held that the tribunal had taken the proper approach, although in some circumstances it was permissible under the no-scheme rule to revisit the planning status. It said the tribunal had been entitled to have regard to the underlying policies for development of the grazing land, including the allocation in the development plan.

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