The Supreme Court (Lord Hope (Deputy President); Lord Walker; Lord Dyson; Lord Sumption; Lord Carnwath) today gave judgment in The Health and Safety Executive v Wolverhampton City Council  UKSC 34.
The issue that fell to be determined was whether the compensation payable to developers when planning authorities modify or revoke planning permissions under s. 97 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (“the 1990 Act”) (or in respect of discontinuance under s. 102) is one of the material considerations a local authority can take into account.
Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision the position was not clear. In Alnwick District Council v Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport & the Regions (2000) 79 P & CR 130 Richards J. (as he then was) had held that that regard could not be had to the compensation potentially payable. However in R (Usk Valley Conservation Group) v Brecon Beacons National Park Authority  2 P & CR 198 (relating to a discontinuance order under s 102), Ouseley J. held that compensation could be had regard to. In the HSE v Wolverhampton case itself at Court of Appeal level ( EWCA Civ 892) the Court split 2: 1 (Sullivan LJ and Longmore LJ vs Pill LJ) in favour of Usk. The Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the majority view in the Court of Appeal and the decision of Ouseley J. in Usk.
Carine Patry appeared for the Health & Safety Executive, the Appellant, led by Philip Coppel QC.
James Maurici appeared for the interested party, Victoria Hall Ltd in the High Court and Court of Appeal.