Welford v Transport for London, Court of Appeal - Lands Tribunal, April 09, 2010, [2010] UKUT 99 (LC)

Resolution Date:April 09, 2010
Issuing Organization:Lands Tribunal
Actores:Welford v Transport for London
 
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UT Neutral citation number: [2010] UKUT 99 (LC)

ACQ/26/2007

TRIBUNALS, COURTS AND ENFORCEMENT ACT 2007

COMPENSATION - compulsory purchase of part of forecourt to commercial premises and half road width for highway improvements - loss of rent and rental voids - injurious affection - valuation assumptions - personal time - pre-reference costs - Land Compensation Act 1961 section 5, rule (6) and Compulsory Purchase Act 1965 section 7 - compensation determined at £8,641.50

IN THE MATTER of a NOTICE OF REFERENCE

BETWEEN TERENCE CHARLES GEORGE WELFORD Claimant

and

TRANSPORT for LONDON Acquiring

Authority

Re: Worldwide House, Lanrick Road, London E14 0JF

Before: P R Francis FRICS

Sitting at: 43-45 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3AS

on

14 & 15 December 2009

Christiaan Zwart, instructed by Hughmans, solicitors of London EC4, for the claimant

Richard Honey, instructed by Eversheds, solicitors of London WC2, for the acquiring authority

The following cases are referred to in this decision:

Director of Buildings v Shun Fung [1995] 2 AC 111

Pattle v Secretary of State for Transport [2009] UKUT 141 (LC) LT ref: ACQ/7/2007

Tombstone Ltd v Raja and Another [2008] All ER (D) 180

Midgulf International Ltd v Groupe Chimique Tunisien [2010] EWCA Civ 66

The following cases were also referred to in argument:

Dawkins v Ash Brothers and Heaton Ltd [1969] 2 AC 366

Prasad v Wolverhampton Borough Council [1983] 2 WLR 946

Optical Express (Southern) Ltd v Birmingham City Council [2004] RVR 106

Lindon Print v West Midlands County Council (1987) 283 EG 70

Wildtree Hotels v L B Harrow [2001] 2 AC 1

Simmonds v Kent County Council [1990] 1 EGLR 227

Street v Mountford [1985] 1 AC 809

Crago v Julian [1992] 1 WLR 372

Trustees of St John's Hospital v Keevil and Anor [2001] EWCA Civ 1730

Rhone v Stevens [1994] 2 AC 310

Slipper v Tottenham and Hampstead Junction Railway Co [LR] 4 Eq 114

Rugby Joint Water Board v Shaw-Fox [1973] AC 202

Banham v Hackney LBC (1971) 22 P & CR 922

Pointe Gourde Quarrying & Transport Co Ltd v Sub-Intendent of Crown Lands [1947] AC 565

Walsh v Lonsdale [1882] LR 21 Ch D 9

R v Tower Hamlets LBC ex p Van Goetz [1999] QB 1019

DECISION

Introduction

  1. This is a decision to determine the compensation payable to Mr Terence Welford (the claimant) for losses alleged to have occurred as a result of the compulsory acquisition of the freehold interest in 20 sq m of forecourt and access yard to the front of office, warehouse and showroom premises at World Wide House, Lanrick Road, London E14 (the subject premises) together with half of the road width of Lanrick Road (about 134 sq m and agreed to have no monetary value). The land, which was identified as Plot 24, was acquired by Transport for London (the acquiring authority or TfL) under the A13 Trunk Road (Ironbridge to Canning Town Improvement) Compulsory Purchase Order (No PS 13) 1998 (the CPO) in connection with improvements to the A13 trunk road. Notice to Treat was served on the claimant on 27 January 1999, Notice of Entry was served on 13 December 1999 and, by a letter of 10 October 2000, the claimant was informed of the acquiring authority's intention to enter and take possession of the land on 27 November 2000.

  2. Notice of reference to this tribunal was sent by the claimant on 22 February 2007 and a dispute arose as to whether the reference was out of time. At a hearing of a preliminary issue on 11 January 2008, at which the claimant contended that it was quite apparent from the deed of surrender [reference to which will be made later] that TfL did not take physical possession until 27 February 2001, the President considered evidence relating to the background and chronology of events leading up to the acquisition. In his decision of 10 April 2008 he found for the claimant, and determined that the date of entry was indeed 27 February 2001, and the claim was not, therefore, statute barred. That date is the valuation date for the purposes of this reference.

  3. The claimant sought compensation under 6 heads amounting to £157,416, however it was subsequently agreed that that should be reduced by £21,625 (the surrender premium) leaving a net claim of £135,791. The acquiring authority valued compensation at £1,750. It also accepted the principle of pre-reference costs, but as no sum had been specified by the claimant, the matter was not considered at the hearing. However, that aspect was covered subsequently in closing submissions.

  4. Mr Christiaan Zwart of counsel appeared for the claimant, whom he called, together with Mr Richard William Cobb FRICS, chairman of G L Hearn & Partners, Chartered Surveyors of London W1, who gave expert valuation evidence. Mr Richard Honey of counsel appeared for the acquiring authority and called Mr Roger William Moore BSc BA (Hons) MRICS MCPA, a director of the Chelmsford office of Lambert Smith Hampton who gave valuation evidence.

  5. Closing submissions in writing were received from the acquiring authority on 15 January 2010, with extensive and detailed closing submissions on the facts, evidence and law received from the claimant on 29 January 2010. In the light of conclusions derived from certain aspects of the law included within the claimant's submissions, I sought further submissions from counsel for TfL in reply, and allowed the claimant a further, and final right of reply. These were all received by 22 February 2010.

    Facts

  6. The parties produced a statement of agreed facts and issues remaining to be determined by the Tribunal from which, together with the evidence, I find the following facts. The subject premises comprised a post-war two storey brick and flat roofed showroom/office building together with an adjacent single storey steel framed and metal clad warehouse located on the north west side of Lanrick Road, E14 on the inside of a point where the road performed a 90 degree turn to the left (approaching from the west). The office building comprised ground floor showroom, office and kitchen of 122.9 sq m (1,323 sq ft) with offices and kitchen above of 79.5 sq m (856 sq ft) and further offices of 26.2 sq m (281 sq ft). The front elevation of this building, which included the main staff/customer access faced approximately due north and gave onto a triangular concreted car park which was shared with an adjacent building (referred to as the ``City Eggs building''), and accessed off the north-west going section of Lanrick Road. The warehouse building of 289.1 sq m (3,112 sq ft) was attached to the rear, south, elevation of the World Wide House offices, and faced onto a small, separate, yard which had vehicular access off the north-east going part of Lanrick Road. Between the two yards was a further small triangular yard formerly used for storage.

  7. The premises were located off the A13 East India Dock Road, from which Lanrick Road was accessed, and in the vicinity were a waste transfer station (opposite), further offices (adjacent to and outside the claimant's ownership), the City Eggs Building (owned by the claimant), two further warehouses and the Blackwall Trading Estate. The scheme necessitating the purchase by TfL of a small part of the yard serving the World Wide House warehouse building (and the half-road width) encompassed major improvements to the alignment of the A13. This included a minor change to the layout of Lanrick Road, effectively moving the north-east going section (off which the warehouse was accessed) about 20' to the north, thus reducing the size of the entrance yard by approximately that amount.

  8. The entirety of World Wide House was let to World Class Gifts Ltd (WCG) - with which there was a family connection between the claimant and a director - under a lease dated 2 May 1989 for a term of 20 years at an initial rent of £10,400 pa subject to 5 yearly rent reviews. It was agreed that the market rental value at May 1999 was £26,000 and, at the valuation date, £30,000. WCG undertook the import and onward distribution of giftware sourced principally from Europe and received regular deliveries to the warehouse building by particularly large, 15m long, European articulated trucks. On 27 January 1999, Notice to Treat was served on the tenant (the same date as the Notice served upon the claimant). In June 1999, a highways engineer (appointed by the claimant freeholder) concluded that:

    ``...the proposed re-alignment of Lanrick Road has a significantly detrimental impact on [World Wide House] in that it results in the building no longer being able to be serviced by the commonly used 15m articulated vehicles.''

    TfL's expert technical highways advisor, in a letter of 3 August 1999, accepted that:

    ``....it is not possible to position a 15m articulated vehicle on or adjacent to the delivery bay without obstructing the footway or carriageway...''

    and said

    ``In conclusion we concur it is not possible to position a 15m articulated vehicle without obstructing the public highway ... it would be possible to use a 10m or 12m long unit with the tractor units removed, although the 12m long uncoupled unit might still infringe 1m into the footway.''

  9. On 4 November 1999, the claimant agreed a rent concession, requested by the tenant in respect of alleged trading difficulties caused by the scheme, to £13,000 pa ``for the forthcoming year''. On 27 April 2000 WCG's agents submitted a compensation claim based on relocation of the business, but it subsequently transpired that no suitable alternative premises could be found and, on 2 October 2000, TfL agreed to proceed on the basis of total extinguishment. WCG vacated World Wide House on 12 January 2001 and the tenant's claim was settled by agreement (following a reference to this Tribunal) in September 2003 at £214,324.91 plus costs.

  10. The acquiring authority said that it took over the rights and obligations of the WCG lease at the valuation date, but did not occupy the premises. TfL subsequently entered into a Deed of...

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