Transport for London (London Underground Ltd) v Spirerose Ltd: HL 30 Jul 2009

Compulsory Purchase Compensation – Land As it Is

The House considered the basis of calculation of compensation on the compulsory purchase of land without planning permission, but where permission would probably be granted. The appellant challenged the decision which had treated the probability as equal to certainty.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The land should not be valued on the basis that it actually had planning permission for residential development. The CA had ‘assumed that a case in which the owner was unable to take advantage of any statutory assumption (whether under section 16 of the 1961 Act, or under a certificate of appropriate alternative development issued under section 17) was an anomaly to be remedied in the interests of fairness. But Parliament has enacted a statutory code of some complexity demonstrating that it does not regard all these cases as ‘materially similar.’ For the Court to try to correct the code in accordance with its perception of what is fair would amount to judicial legislation. It would upset the balance of the code which Parliament must be supposed to have considered carefully. ‘
Lord Collins said: ‘there is no basis in authority or in principle for the conclusion that it is open to the court in effect to establish an assumption that planning permission would be obtained, by analogy with the specific statutory rules which create the assumption.’
Lord Walker observed that the Pointe Gourde principle ‘is essentially concerned with statutory construction . . not . . with the meaning of a particular word or phrase which has appeared in a succession of statutes dealing with the same subject-matter, but with the general attitude and expectation with which the Court should approach a statute dealing with compensation for the compulsory acquisition of land operating, as it is put in Bennion, Statutory Interpretation, 5th ed (2008), p442, as a ‘special interpretative convention’.’

Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Lord Mance, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, Lord Collins of Mapesbury
[2009] UKHL 44, Times 17-Aug-2009, [2009] NPC 104, [2009] 4 All ER 810, [2009] PTSR 1371, [2009] RVR 225, [2009] 1 WLR 1797
Land Compensation Act 1961 5(2)
England and Wales
CitedStebbing v Metropolitan Board of Works 1870
In compensation for compulsory purchase (in this case, of graveyards), ‘value’ means value to the owner, not value to the purchaser. The graveyards were therefore of little or no value to the rector.
Cockburn CJ said: ‘When Parliament gives . .
CitedIn re Lucas and Chesterfield Gas and Water Board CA 1909
Land suitable for construction of a reservoir was the subject of a compulsory purchase for that purpose. The circumstances made it very unlikely that anyone other than the Water Board would have wanted, or been able, to construct the reservoir and . .
Appeal fromTransport for London v Spirerose Ltd (In Administration) CA 13-Nov-2008
The parties disputed the compensation to be awarded on the compulsory acquisition of land and in particular as to whether ‘the site should be valued on the basis (a) (as the tribunal held) of its full value with planning permission for a mixed use . .
At LTSpirerose Ltd v Transport for London LT 16-Nov-2007
LT COMPENSATION – compulsory purchase – acquisition of former industrial premises – claim for loss of development value – valuation – planning permission in no-scheme world – whether planning permission that . .
CitedHorn v Sunderland Corporation CA 1941
Compulsory Purchase Damages limited to Actual Loss
Rule (6) was designed to preserve the effect of the 19th Century case-law under the 1845 Act, by which personal loss caused by the compulsory acquisition was treated as part of the value to the owner of the land: ‘the owner in a proper case – that . .
CitedPointe Gourde Quarrying and Transport Co Ltd v Sub-Intendant of Crown Lands PC 29-Jul-1947
Under a wartime agreement in 1941 the UK government agreed to lease to the US Government land in Trinidad on which the US could establish a naval base. To do this the Crown acquired the Pointe Gourde land for its limestone quarry which would be used . .
CitedInland Revenue Commissioners v Clay CA 1914
The court considered the market value of a private residence. The evidence was that its value to persons wishing to use it as a private residence was 750 pounds. However, the house adjoined a nurses’ home the trustees of which wanted to extend their . .
CitedBarras v Aberdeen Steam Trawling and Fishing Co HL 17-Mar-1933
The court looked at the inference that a statute’s draughtsman could be assumed when using a phrase to rely on a known interpretation of that phrase.
Viscount Buckmaster said: ‘It has long been a well established principle to be applied in the . .
CitedRaza Narayana Gajapatiraju v Revenue Divisional Officer, Vizagapatan (The Indian Case) PC 1939
Land was to be acquired for anti-malarial works relating to a harbour development. Lord Romer rejected the suggestion in a compulsory purchase valuation that it would be possible to ascertain the potential special value of land to a ‘special . .
CitedCamrose v Basingstoke Corporation CA 1966
Basingstoke was to be expanded to receive overspill population from London and the corporation contracted to purchase about 550 acres from a landowner on terms that the price would be assessed as though the land had been compulsorily acquired under . .
CitedWaters and others v Welsh Development Agency HL 29-Apr-2004
Land was to be compulsorily purchased. A large development required the land to be used to create a nature reserve. The question was how and if at all the value of the overall scheme should be considered when assessing the compensation for this . .
CitedWildtree Hotels Ltd and others v Harrow London Borough Council HL 22-Jun-2000
The compensation which was payable for disturbance, when works were carried out on land acquired compulsorily, did not extend to the damage caused by noise dust and vibration arising from the works. Where however damage could be brought within the . .
CitedRugby Joint Water Board v Shaw-Fox HL 1973
The water board obtained a compulsory purchase order to buy agricultural land adjoining a reservoir. The land was subject to protected tenancies under the 1948 Act.
Held: (Majority) Because the land subject to notices to treat was required for . .
CitedWilson v Liverpool Corporation CA 1971
The claimants owned 74 acres of an area of 391 acres in Liverpool which the Corporation wanted to acquire for residential development. The authority acquired the land by agreement and made a compulsory purchase order in respect of the remainder.
CitedJelson Ltd v Blaby District Council CA 1977
A strip of land had been originally reserved for a road, and was subsequently sold to the council under a purchase notice. A claim for compensation was made. On appeal the Minister issued a nil certificate on the basis that the correct time at which . .
CitedWaters and others v Welsh Development Agency CA 28-Jun-2002
The claimant’s land was subject to a compulsory purchase order to make land available for a scheme to make possible a much larger and more valuable scheme. He asserted that the compensation should be calculated in accordance with the value of the . .
CitedPorter v Secretary of State for Transport CA 1996
Land had been compulsorily acquired for a road. The plaintiff was granted on appeal under section 18 of the 1961 Act a certificate of appropriate alternative development in respect of the land acquired, namely that the land acquired would have been . .

Cited by:
CitedStar Energy Weald Basin Ltd and Another v Bocardo Sa SC 28-Jul-2010
The defendant had obtained a licence to extract oil from its land. In order to do so it had to drill out and deep under the Bocardo’s land. No damage at all was caused to B’s land at or near the surface. B claimed in trespass for damages. It now . .
CitedJ S Bloor (Wilmslow) Ltd v Homes and Communities Agency CA 22-May-2015
The land owner challenged the amount awarded on the compulsory purchase of land. Although agricultural, it had substantial hope value with possible residential development.
Held: The assessment of compensation should be remitted to the Upper . .
CitedHomes and Communities Agency v JS Bloor (Wilmslow) Ltd SC 22-Feb-2017
Challenge to the sums awarded on compulsory acquisition of grazing land, but which land had a substantial hope value for residential development.
Held: The tribunal’s application of these difficult provisions to the complex facts of this case . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Damages

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.368932