Swift v Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Court of Appeal - Lands Tribunal, June 07, 2004, [2004] EWLands ACQ_22_2002

Resolution Date:June 07, 2004
Issuing Organization:Lands Tribunal
Actores:Swift v Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
 
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[2004] EWLands ACQ_22_2002 (7 June 2004)

ACQ/22/2002

LANDS TRIBUNAL ACT 1949

COMPENSATION - Compulsory Purchase - 458m2 of grassland, formerly site of dwelling house - valuation of freehold - whether planning permission to be assumed for construction of new dwellinghouse - whether valuation to reflect hope of future planning consent - three sites within CPO acquired at very different prices per m2 - compensation of £750 awarded.

IN THE MATTER OF A NOTICE OF REFERENCE

BETWEEN

DONALD FRASER SWIFT

Claimant

and

BARNSLEY METROPOLITAN

Acquiring

BOROUGH COUNCIL

Authority

Re:

Site of 1 Quarry House,

Near The Smithies,

Monk Bretton,

Barnsley.

Before: N J Rose FRICS

Sitting at Barnsley County Court

on 21 April 2004

Mrs Mary Swift for the Claimant with permission of the Tribunal

Martin Carter instructed by Mr A Prosdick, Borough Secretary, Barnsley MBC for the Acquiring Authority

DECISION

  1. This is a reference to determine the compensation payable by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (``the acquiring authority'') to Mr Donald Fraser Swift (``the claimant'') for the freehold interest in 458 m2 (548 sq yd) of grassland, formerly the site of a dwellinghouse known as 1 Quarry House, Near The Smithies, Monk Bretton, Barnsley (``the subject property''). Mr Swift's property was compulsorily acquired under the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley (Burton Bank, Barnsley) (Land Reclamation) Compulsory Purchase Order 1994 (``the CPO''), which was confirmed by the Secretary of State for the Environment on 9 May 1995. It forms part of Plot 2 on the CPO plan. Notice to treat and notice of entry were served on 9 January 1996 and the agreed valuation date is 29 January 1996. Although the matter was at one stage the subject of some dispute, Mr Carter, counsel for the acquiring authority, indicated at the hearing that the claimant's entitlement to the compensation determined by the Tribunal was no longer being challenged.

  2. The valuation contended for by the claimant was £22,500 and the acquiring authority's figure was £750. The disparity between the two valuations is primarily due to the fact that the claimant has assumed planning permission for the construction of a single dwellinghouse, whereas the acquiring authority considers that there was no realistic prospect of any alternative beneficial use to that of the current open space.

  3. The claimant was represented, with permission of the Tribunal, by his wife, Mrs Mary Swift. She called one expert witness, Mr P Simpson, BSc, MRICS, a director of Lancasters (1790) Limited, chartered surveyors of Barnsley. Mr Carter also called one expert witness, Mr D A Strafford, BSc, MRICS, sole principal of Karlis & Co, chartered surveyors and valuers of Morley, Leeds. I inspected the subject property and certain other properties cited as comparable evidence, accompanied by representatives of the parties, on 5 May 2004.

  4. In the light of the evidence I find the following facts. The subject property originally formed the site of a substantial quarry manager's house and outbuildings, which were demolished around 1988-1990. It was accessible by motor vehicles along an unmade private road, leading from the west off Wakefield Road. It was also accessible from Burton Bank Road to the south east. The house was connected to the mains water supply and drainage was via a septic tank. There was no mains gas supply and electricity was provided by a generator used in connection with quarrying activities. The site now forms part of an expanse of steeply sloping open grass/scrubland in a prominent elevated position on the east side of the Dearne Valley, overlooking Barnsley town centre some 1.5 km to the south west. This land was the subject of coal mining on various occasions between the mid 1800s and 1964.

  5. On 8 March 1996 an application for a certificate under section 17 of the Land Compensation Act 1961 was submitted to the acquiring authority on behalf of the claimant by Messrs William H Brown, surveyors and valuers in respect of all the land included in Plot 2 on the CPO plan. The uses suggested by that firm were ``residential development ... infilling and tipping of solid waste with the possibility of using the site for processing and reclaiming such waste ... (and) some form of commercial use''. On 9 May 1996 the acquiring authority issued a negative certificate in respect of all the proposed uses. The reasons given were as follows:

    ``1. The site forms part of an elevated, prominent, topographical feature overlooking the Dearne Valley and which remains substantially undeveloped. In the opinion of the Local Planning authority this site represents a significant townscape feature of important amenity value and should therefore remain undeveloped. The proposed development would, in the opinion of the Local Planning Authority, thereby diminish the character and appearance of Burton Bank to the detriment of visual amenity.

  6. The processing, tipping and reclamation of waste materials would, in addition and in the opinion of the Local Planning Authority, by reason of its close proximity to dwellinghouses and the likely noise, general disturbance and dust generated therefrom, be detrimental to the residential amenities of the occupants of the dwellings.''

  7. As I have indicated, notwithstanding this certificate Mr Simpson prepared his valuation on the assumption that planning permission was available for the construction of a single dwellinghouse. He accepted that formal consent would be required for such development, but he considered that there were certain factors which indicated that such consent would be forthcoming. Firstly, planning permission was granted on 10 January 1967 to use land to the north or north-west of the subject property as a scrapyard. A further planning permission was granted in 1988 to remove quarry waste stockpiles. Mr Simpson said that the acquiring authority's...

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