Boland v Welsh Development Agency, Court of Appeal - Lands Tribunal, March 18, 2005,  EWLands ACQ_9_2003
|Resolution Date:||March 18, 2005|
|Issuing Organization:||Lands Tribunal|
|Actores:||Boland v Welsh Development Agency|
© CROWN COPYRIGHT 2005
LANDS TRIBUNAL ACT 1949
COMPENSATION - compulsory acquisition - valuation - cleared site - planning permissions for housing association development and for elderly persons units - value of land - claim for loss of profit from prospective development - held compensation payable for value of land only - compensation £145,815.36
IN THE MATTER of A NOTICE OF REFERENCE
BETWEEN MAGALIE MURIEL BOLAND Claimant
WELSH DEVELOPMENT AGENCY Acquiring Authority
Re: Land at West Terrace, Penarth, South Glamorgan
Before: P R Francis FRICS
Sitting at: Cardiff County Court, 2 Park Street, Cardiff, CF10 1ET
1 & 2 March 2005
Michael Boland, in person, with permission of the Tribunal, for the claimant
Charles Parsley, instructed by Land Development and Legal Services, Welsh Development Agency, for the acquiring authority
The following case is referred to in this decision:
Ryde International plc v London Regional Transport  RVR 60
This is a reference to determine the amount of compensation payable to Mrs M M Boland (``the claimant'') by the Welsh Development Agency (``WDA'' or ``the acquiring authority'') for the compulsory acquisition of 1,359 sq m land at West Terrace, Penarth, South Glamorgan (``the subject land''). The land, a cleared and vacant site, was acquired under the Land Authority for Wales (Land to the south-west of West Terrace, Penarth) Compulsory Purchase Order 1993 (``the CPO'') pursuant to an agreement between WDA and Hafod Housing Association (``HHA''). It was vested on 10 June 1997 (the agreed valuation date), and was subsequently developed by HHA with 10 sheltered housing units.
The claimant argues for compensation in the sum of £1,500,000 made up as to £350,000 for the land and £1,150,000 disturbance for the loss of opportunity to earn profit from the claimant's proposed development, both on the subject land and upon two other sites. WDA's valuation of £155,000 is based upon its expert's view that the site was most suited, in the open market, for a small development of no more than 10 private residential dwellings. No disturbance compensation is, in its view, payable. The issue for my determination is what, following a detailed analysis of the planning history, the subject land could have supported in development terms, and what price it could have been expected to realise in the open market at the valuation date.
Mr Michael Boland appeared for his former wife. The solicitors that had been acting for her, Thomas Graham, advised the Tribunal during the week prior to the hearing that they were no longer on the record. Mr Boland said at the commencement of the hearing that the claimant's former expert, Stephen Hattley Dip Arb FRICS of Christie & Co was no longer instructed and his report of 23 January 2004 was not being relied upon. He did call the claimant and Mr John Gould, a surveyor with the Jenkins Gould Partnership, her former architects, who both gave evidence of fact. Mr Charles Parsley of counsel appeared for WDA and called Graham Dickenson BSc (Est Man) FRICS, a chartered surveyor who gave valuation evidence.
There was no agreed statement of facts or issues to be determined. However, from the evidence at the hearing and my inspection of the subject land, comparable sites and surrounding area, I find the following facts.
The subject land comprised, at the valuation date, a relatively level, cleared site extending to 0.1359 ha (0.336 acre). It is located in a heavily developed residential area comprising, in the main, terraces of Victorian cottages and is about 350 metres from Penarth town centre. There are some commercial premises nearby and to the rear, together with a small school, a telephone exchange and St Joseph's church. Occupying a rectangular, corner position, the land has a frontage to West Terrace, a return frontage to Grove Terrace and a further unnamed lane to the rear (serving the school, the telephone exchange and an open recreation area). Vehicular access is thus available to three sides, with the eastern boundary formed by an end terrace house, 22 West Terrace. It is accepted that the surroundings are effectively the same now as they were in 1997.
The land was acquired by the claimant in about 1980, at which time it was occupied by a number of ageing industrial buildings that were let to a variety of tenants. Uses included a laundry, tyre and exhaust fitters, motor repairs and a heavy transport depot. Subsequently, as tenants of several units vacated, the buildings were not re-let and fell into disrepair. Following repeated attempts by the Vale of Glamorgan Borough Council to persuade the claimant to remove derelict and unsightly structures, action was taken under section 79 of the Building Act 1984, and the buildings were removed by the council in 1989. The costs incurred are registered as land charges and amount to £9,184.64.
During the 1980 - 1989 period, the claimant sought planning permission for development on a number of occasions. Following refusals of applications in 1980 and 1981 for 20 and 17 terraced units on the grounds of over-development of the site, an application for 16 dwellings dated 2 December 1981 was also refused, but granted on appeal. Although still considered to be an over-development of the land, the inspector accepted that there was a need for starter homes (the type of development promulgated by the claimant in her appeal statement), and acknowledged that some relaxation of standards would be appropriate. That consent was not acted upon and allowed to lapse. An application for an elderly persons residence together with surgery and a flat made in 1989 was withdrawn, with a subsequent, amended application refused.
On 9 March 1993, an application by HHA (who had been trying to acquire the land by agreement from 1991) for 14 two and three bedroom dwellings was approved. A separate application was submitted by the claimant on 19 January 1993 for 19 1 bedroom sheltered housing units and a 2 bedroom warden's house. Permission was eventually granted on 9 May 1994 and was subject to a section 106 Agreement which would restrict the occupation of the sheltered units to persons of over 60 years, and prevent sales of the units to private purchasers.
In furtherance of its need to bring forward sites for affordable housing, the Land Authority for Wales (``LAW'' - predecessor to WDA) was empowered to acquire land for the purpose, and with the subject land having remained undeveloped by the claimant for over 13 years, and HHA having been unable to acquire the land by agreement, made the CPO which, following a public inquiry in 1994, was eventually confirmed in 1997. The land was vested in LAW on 10 June 1997, this being the valuation date for the purposes of this reference.
Following grant of the claimant's planning permission, a building regulations application was made to the council on 26 September 1994, and accepted on 30 September 1994. However, the builder employed by Mrs Boland was found to have commenced works on the footings for 8 of the proposed units ``prior to 5 October 1994'' (the date of...
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