Metropolitan Board of Works v McCarthy: HL 1874

Compensation was awarded to the owner of a warehouse near Blackfriars because the construction of the Victoria Embankment cut off his access across the public highway to a dock on the river. Lord Cairns LC quoted Thesiger QC as saying: ‘Where by the construction of works there is a physical interference with any right, public or private, which the owners or occupiers of property are by law entitled to make use of, in connection with such property, and which right gives an additional market value to such property, apart from the uses to which any particular owner or occupier might put it, there is a title to compensation, if, by reason of such interference, the property, as a property, is lessened in value.’ and ‘The word ‘physical’ is here used in order to distinguish the case from cases of that class where the interference is not of a physical, but rather of a mental, nature, or of an inferential kind, such as those of a road rendered less agreeable or convenient, or a view interfered with, or the profits of a trade, by the creation of a new highway or street, diminished in the old one. And in like manner the words ‘a right, public or private, which the owner of property is entitled to make use of,’ apply to this case and distinguish it from such cases as Hammersmith Railway Co. v. Brand. There no right, public or private, was interfered with, and the claim for compensation was made in respect of the injury to the enjoyment of the property.’


Lord Cairns L.C


[1874] LR 7 HL 243


Land Clauses Consolidation Act 1845 68


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedWrotham Park Settled Estates v Hertsmere Borough Council CA 12-Apr-1993
Land had been purchased under compulsory purchase powers. It had been subject to restrictive covenants in favour of neighbouring land which would have prevented the development now implemented. The question was how the compensation should be . .
CitedMoto Hospitality Ltd v Secretary of State for Transport CA 26-Jul-2007
The company sought damages to its business on a motorway service station when works closed an access road.
Held: The Secretary of State’s appeal succeeded. A claim for compensation under section 10 had not been established, at least in respect . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Damages

Updated: 12 May 2022; Ref: scu.186376