Trustees of Bolder Bridge Lane Trust v Barnsley MBC [2017] UKUT 0081 (LC)

Successful appeal under s18 of the Land Compensation Act securing a certificate of appropriate alternative development for use of a site for the reclamation of minerals followed by the deposit of waste. A CPO was made in 1985 to acquire former railway sidings for the purpose of restoration to public open space.  The ballast on the site was colliery spoil.   Notice of entry was not given until 1990.  In the meantime permission was granted to reclaim coal from the ballast and some reclamation took place.  No compensation was paid after notice of entry.  In 2015 the acquiring authority started a reference to determine the amount of compensation payable, so as to facilitate the execution of a deed poll.  The authority initially contended that no compensation was payable, as the site involved only liabilities for the landowner on the valuation date.  The legal owners sought a certificate of appropriate alternative development, contending that, if there had been no proposal to acquire the land, planning permission would have been granted in 1985 for the recovery of coal followed by the deposit of waste to achieve restoration for recreational purposes and the use of railway buildings on the site for industrial purposes.  The acquiring authority refused to grant any positive certificate, wrongly applying policies applicable in 2015.  When the former owners appealed the authority accepted that it was policies applicable in 1985 which were relevant and that it should have granted a certificate for reclamation and restoration.  It disputed that permission would have been granted for the use of the buildings, but the Upper Tribunal found otherwise and granted the certificate sought by the legal owners.  The certificate informed the assessment of compensation (for the purposes of this it was necessary to consider policies applicable on the valuation date, 2 February 1990).  The case was eventually settled in 2019.  The final bill for the acquiring authority, which included interest for 29 years, exceeded £800,000. Richard Langham appeared for the legal owners.

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