Wilson 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.
Held: The purpose of the Pointe Gourde principle is to prevent the compensation for the value of the land on compulsory acquisition from being inflated by the very scheme which gives rise to the acquisition. An enhancement in value resulting entirely from the underlying scheme has to be ignored. In assessing compensation, the Tribunal was required to assume that planning permission for residential development would have been granted on his land, but to make appropriate deductions from the ‘dead ripe value’ in the real world, in order to reflect the enhancement of value due to the public’s knowledge of the authority’s involvement in the scheme, including its investment in infrastructure, and also to the consequent acceleration of development.
Widgery LJ spoke of: ‘the well known rule of practice that if a point is not taken in the court of trial, it cannot be taken in the appeal court unless that court is in possession of all the material necessary to enable it to dispose of the matter finally, without injustice to the other party, and without recourse to a further hearing below.’ and ‘Whenever land is to be compulsorily acquired, this must be in consequence of some scheme or undertaking or project. Unless there is some scheme or undertaking or project, compulsory powers of acquisition will not arise at all, and it would, I think, be a great mistake if we tended to focus our attention on the word ‘scheme’ as though it had some magic of its own. It is merely synonymous with the other words to which I have referred, and the purpose of the so called Pointe Gourde rule is to prevent the acquisition of the land being at a price which is inflated by the very project or scheme which gives rise to the acquisition.
The extent of the scheme is a matter of fact in every case, as is shown by the decision in Fraser v Fraserville City [1917] A.C. 187 to which Lord Denning M.R. has referred. It is for the tribunal of fact to consider just what activities-past, present or future-are properly to be regarded as the scheme within the meaning of this proposition.’
Lord Denning MR: ‘A scheme is a progressive thing. It starts vague and known to few. It becomes more precise and better known as time goes on. Eventually it becomes precise and definite and known to all. Correspondingly, its impact has a progressive effect on values. At first it has little effect because it is so vague and uncertain. As it becomes more precise and better known, so its impact increases until it has an important effect. It is this increase, whether big or small, which is to be disregarded at the time when the value is to be assessed.’


Widgery LJ, Lord Denning MR, Megaw LJ


[1971] 1 WLR 302


Land Compensation Act 1961 6(1)


England and Wales


ExplainedPointe 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 . .
CitedFraser v City of Fraserville PC 1917
One ground on which the arbitrators’ valuation award on a compulsory purchase, was set aside was that, in valuing the falls of a river and adjacent land acquired for electricity generation purposes, the arbitrators had taken into account the . .

Cited by:

CitedBolton Metropolitan Borough Council v Tudor Properties Ltd and Others CA 19-Apr-2000
The court had to consider the compensation to be awarded on the compulsory purchase of land.
Held: The appeal failed. The tribunal had not erred in ascertaining the extent of the underlying scheme. In deciding that, they were entitled to have . .
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 . .
CitedKing v Jackson (T/a Jackson Flower Company) CA 16-Jul-1997
The defendant appealed an award of pounds 11,000 damages for unlawful eviction of his tenant. The tenant had found herself unable to pay the rent and had given notice to quit. She was then told to leave immediately. The judge awarded statutory . .
CitedJones v Governing Body of Burdett Coutts School CA 2-Apr-1998
The Employment Appeal Tribunal must give reasons for its decision, if it chooses to allow the amendment of appeal the papers in order to hear a point of law which had been conceded in the industrial tribunal. Citing Liverpool Corporation v Wilson, . .
CitedJ A Pye (Oxford) Limited v Kingswood Borough Council CA 6-Apr-1998
The purchase of land which was to form the last part of a development was to be valued without taking account of the enhanced value which would be attributed to the much larger scheme of development. To ascertain what is to be ignored by the valuer . .
CitedTransport 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 . .
CitedOakland v Wellswood (Yorkshire) Ltd CA 30-Jul-2009
The employer was in financial difficulties. A new company was formed by a customer to acquire its assets, and the employees, including the claimant were taken on by the new company. The claimant was dismissed within a year after. On claiming unfair . .
CitedMyers v Milton Keynes Development Corporation CA 1974
Land was to be acquired for the development of a new town. The court faced the issue, in the context of a valuation for compulsory purchase, of whether the required disregard of any increase in value attributable to the ‘scheme’ meant that the . .
CitedRoberts and Another v South Gloucestershire Council CA 7-Nov-2002
The landowner appealed against the compensation awarded for the compulsory acquisition of his land for use as a road. The owners had been compensated only for its agricultural value, but said that it should have allowed for its value for minerals . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Damages

Updated: 11 May 2022; Ref: scu.188871