Bloor Homes (Wilmslow) Ltd v HCA – Supreme Court – 22 February 2017

Thu, 23 Feb 2017

On the 22 February 2017 the Supreme Court judgment in the case; Bloor Homes (Wilmslow) Ltd  v HCA, was handed down.

This case is about the planning status of land, the scheme for which it is acquired under a CPO, and the disregard of increases and decreases in value arising from that scheme.  The Supreme Court upheld the Upper Tribunal’s decision in favour of Bloor Homes, reversing the Court of Appeal’s judgment.

Martin Kingston QC and Richard Kimblin QC appeared for Bloor Homes in the Upper Tribunal, the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Determination of compensation on compulsory acquisition is founded in assumptions and assessment of the planning status of the land and the “no-scheme” rule: that is, the rule that compensation for compulsory acquisition is to be assessed disregarding any increase or decrease in value solely attributable to the underlying scheme of the acquiring authority.

Section 14(3) of the Land Compensation Act 1961 makes clear that these provisions are not to be construed as requiring it to be assumed that planning permission would necessarily be refused for development not covered by the statutory assumptions.  The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeal which had reasoned that the underlying planning policies in support of the Kingsway Business Park, near Rochdale, would have prevented the grant of planning permission for residential development on the reference land, at the valuation date.  Contrary to that view, the Supreme Court upheld the Upper Tribunal’s assessment of the planning status of the reference land in circumstances where it was to be assumed that there was to be no Kingsway Business Park.  The Upper Tribunal spoke of the consequent need for them to consider “life in at least two parallel universes: the ‘cancellation assumption’ universe and the ‘disregard the scheme’ universe (called ‘no KBP’ for short)”.  That analysis was, so the Supreme Court held, exemplary.

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