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Land owner fails in compensation bid

A Northern land owner has failed in his bid to claim over £800,000 in compensation after a local council acquired his property through a compulsory purchase order.

Keith Graham saw his land in Byker controversially taken off him by Newcastle Council in 2001 and has been seeking what he feels is appropriate compensation ever since.
The 2,672 square metre site was used for a £15m shopping centre now key to the council’s redevelopment plans for the Byker area. But Mr Graham argued that his land, for which he had another 36 years lease, was worth £819,738 and that he should be suitably reimbursed by the council.
At London’s Land Tribunal, Mr Graham was denied the amount after the tribunal ruled that the market value of the open storage land was only £79,200 and that the council should only service the lower value.
In his ruling, Judge Norman Rose told Mr Graham that the only reason his land had reached the escalated value was due to the council’s regeneration plans, which forced the compulsory purchase in the first place.
As a result, he said, the impact of the scheme on the value of the land should be disregarded in the calculation of the proper compensation to be paid.
“I have concluded there would have been no demand for a foodstore on the site in the absence of the scheme underlying the acquisition, and that scheme should be disregarded in assessing compensation,” said Judge Rose.
“I therefore determine that the compensation payable to the claimant should be £79,200.”
Mr Graham was also told that if he managed to successfully appeal the tribunal’s decision then his substantial valuation would still be ignored. If re-valued on a retail development basis it would more likely reach £270,600.
“The council has always maintained that it had offered the proper market value for the land and this has now been confirmed by the Lands Tribunal,” added a Newcastle City Council spokesman.
For assistance with land compensation and compulsory purchase orders please call Keith Darvill at kenneth elliott + rowe solicitors. 

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