For our final round up relating to our case law update webinar, Gary Soloman shares the highlights of his presentation relating to three recent  decisions which are relevant to CPO practitioners below:

  • Firstly, Gary summarised the Upper Tribunal’s decision in Five Oaks Land v Redbridge LBC [2021] UKUT 304, a case which involved a reference being made on the last day of the six year limitation period. The notice of reference failed to expressly refer to the claimant. The only mention of the claimant company was in an associated statement of case. The Council acquiring authority argued the claim had not been made properly, with the reference notice being defective, and the claim was out of time. Whilst the claim did not comply with the Tribunal Rules and Practice Directions, the Deputy Chamber President found that it did comply with the requirements of the legislation (s.1 Land Compensation Act 1961) which simply requires a reference to be made. It was considered that it would be unjust not to allow the claim to be pursued and the claim was considered to have been validly made.
  • He also looked at the case of Powerrapid v Harlow District Council [2021] 12 WLUK 141 which looked at the scope of cost award made to a successful objector to a CPO. The award included ‘costs of the inquiry’. This was considered by the Court to include not only the costs of the inquiry itself, but also the costs from the resolution to make the CPO and those leading up to the inquiry, as well as costs made after the inquiry and those relating to the cost application. Effectively those costs in relation to the proceedings and incidental to them were properly included as part of the award.
  • Finally, Gary reviewed the high profile CPO decision of Vicarage Fields, 4 October 2022. Here the Inspector refused to confirm a CPO for what was acknowledged to be the much needed regeneration of Barking town centre. The CPO was refused primarily because the acquiring authority could not demonstrate the proposed scheme was viable and deliverable (as required by CPO guidance). The information in front of the Inspector in fact suggested the development was unviable and no up to date analysis was produced for the Inspector to reach any other conclusion. The decision also highlighted the need to ensure that landowner negotiations are carried out properly and effectively and, in the case of Vicarage Fields, it was considered there was too much delay and not enough meaningful engagement with landowners which only reinforced the Inspector’s view that the Council had not demonstrated a compelling case in the public interest. This decision is required reading for those looking to promote a CPO.

The timetable for our 2023 webinar series is now on our website, so please do join us for the sessions that are of interest to you. We are kicking the year off with a Scottish-focused update on the revised draft of the National Planning Framework 4.