Compulsory purchase; Supreme Court rules on Certificates of Appropriate Alternative Development

Compulsory purchase Supreme Court rules on Certificates of Appropriate Alternative Development

Secretary of State for Transport v Curzon Park Limited and others [2023] SC 30

The Supreme Court has given judgment in a case about Certificates of Appropriate Alternative Development (“CAADs”). A CAAD application can be made for a site proposed to be acquired by a compulsory purchase order (“CPO”), to establish what development potential the site would have had in the no scheme world (in other words, in the absence of the CPO). This can be highly relevant to the amount of compensation that has to be paid. The case concerned whether, when a CAAD application for a site is being determined, CAAD applications on other sites can be taken into account if they shed light on the development potential the first site would have had in the no scheme world. The Supreme Court allowed the Secretary of State for Transport’s appeal from the Court of Appeal to the limited extent of reinstating the declaration made by the Upper Tribunal, which was as follows:

‘ determining the development for which planning permission could reasonably have been expected to be granted for the purposes of section 14(4)(b) [of the Land Compensation Act 1961], the decision maker is not required to assume [that] CAAD applications or decisions arising from the compulsory acquisition of land for the same underlying scheme had never been made. The decision maker must treat such applications and decisions as what they are, and not as notional applications for, or grants of, planning permission. They are not material considerations. Subject to those boundaries, it is for the decision maker to give the applications and decisions such evidential weight as they think appropriate.’

Press here for the Supreme Court judgment and here for the press summary.

Timothy Corner KC and Guy Williams KC appeared for the Appellant (instructed by DLA Piper UK LLP) and David Elvin KC and Richard Moules appeared for the Second and Third Respondents (instructed by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP and Ashurst LLP).

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