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Company cannot bring £8m claim over 2006 compulsory purchase, Upper Tribunal rules

A company has lost an attempt to reopen a 14-year-old case involving compulsory purchase by Lancaster City Council.

In R. Gardner & Company (Lancaster) Ltd v Lancaster City Council (COMPENSATION - PLANNING PERMISSION - preliminary issue - whether permission deemed to be granted) [2020] UKUT 327 (LC) the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) ruled that the claimant could not bring the case in which it claimed £8m under the Land Compensation Act 1961 following the local authority’s compulsory purchase of the St George’s Works in November 2006.

The site’s original owner Thomas Newall challenged the compulsory purchase price at the tribunal, which decided it was entitled to compensation of a little over £2m, which was by a margin of some £10,000 not enough to match a previous offer made by the council. 

As a result Thomas Newall had to pay most of the costs and after further litigation entered administration in 2016.

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R Gardner then bought from its administrators the right to bring any remaining claims arising from the acquisition of the St George’s Works.

Section 23 of the Land Compensation Act 1961 entitles a person whose land has been compulsorily acquired and who has already been paid compensation to claim additional compensation if within 10 years a planning decision is made granting planning permission for the additional development

Martin Rodger QC, deputy chamber president, ruled that this had not happened and that a 2016 resolution to grant permission subject to conditions was not a ‘planning decision’ within the meaning of the 1961 Act.

Mark Smulian

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