Railtrack Plc (In Railway Administration) v Guinness Limited: CA 20 Feb 2003

The case involved an appeal from the Land’s Tribunal arbitration award setting compensation for land to be acquired. The question was whether the value should have been that acceptable to a willing seller, or to a ‘a company regulated and subsidised by central government and subject to the political pressures as were the Claimants themselves’. The Act said ‘if sold in the open market by a willing seller’
Held: Legislation had limited the amount of compensation to be paid where there was any urgency by deeming the seller to be willing. If it is intended to rely on a complex valuation exercise, based on a computer model, a common model should be agreed. There did appear to be a possibility of double counting on some element of the claim, and limited leave was given. The parties should work together to simplify the figures, issues and presentation for the court.

When dealing with appeals from a specialist tribunal, ‘issues of law in this context are not narrowly understood.’ ‘The court can correct ‘all kinds of error of law, including errors which might otherwise be the subject of judicial review proceedings’ (R v Inland Revenue Comrs, Ex p Preston [1985] AC 835, 862 per Lord Templeman; see also de Smith, Woolf and Jowell, Judicial Review of Administrative Action, 5th ed (1995), p 686, para 15-076). Thus, for example, a material breach of the rules of natural justice will be treated as an error of law. Furthermore, judicial review (and therefore an appeal on law) may in appropriate cases be available where the decision is reached ‘upon an incorrect basis of fact’, due to misunderstanding or ignorance (see R (Alconbury Developments Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions [2003] 2 AC 295, 321, para 53, per Lord Slynn of Hadley). A failure of reasoning may not in itself establish an error of law, but it may ‘indicate that the tribunal had never properly considered the matter . . and that the proper thought processes have not been gone through’ (Crake v Supplementary Benefits Commission [1982] 1 All ER 492, 508).’
Lord Justice Aldous Lord Justice Carnwath Sir Denis Henry
Times 03-Mar-2003, [2003] EWCA Civ 188, [2003] RVR 280, [2003] NPC 25, [2003] 9 EG 197, [2003] 1 EGLR 124
Land Compensation Act 1961 5
England and Wales
CitedWilbraham v Colclough and others 1952
. .
Appeal fromRailtrack Plc and Another v Guinness Ltd LT 11-Feb-2002
. .
Application for leave to appealRailtrack Plc (In Railway Administration) v Guinness Ltd CA 17-Oct-2002
Application for leave to appeal against order of lands tribunal. . .

Cited by:
CitedHC v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 20-Jul-2005
The applicant challenged refusal of his asylum application saying that the court had failed to take account of the fact that as a homosexual moslem, he would face persecution if returned home.
Held: The IAT had not properly recognised that at . .
CitedShephard and others v Turner and Another CA 23-Jan-2006
The appellants challenged the removal of a restrictive covenant on a neighbour’s house restricting further building on the land to allow further house in the garden. It was in a small close of houses all erected, and the covenant imposed, in 1952. . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 28 April 2021; Ref: scu.179510