Land Compensation Act 1973 claims
Environmental law solicitors at Hugh James are specialist land compensation lawyers who represent individuals for loss of value suffered to property in respect of claims brought under Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act 1973 (“the Act”).
Part 1 of the Act allows individuals with certain interests in property (typically homeowners) to claim compensation for diminution in value caused to their property, as a result of physical factors brought about by the use of new or (in certain situations) altered public works (i.e. aerodromes or public roads).
The Act essentially puts on a statutory footing, a means of individuals recovering compensation for nuisance but in the context of loss of value to their property rights, in circumstances whereby the relevant responsible authority would ordinarily be exempt from a nuisance claim at common law.
The Act allows compensation to be recovered in specific circumstances. Whilst it does not compensate individuals generally for loss of amenity, it allows compensation to be recovered where diminution in value has resulted from the changes in noise, vibration, odour or fumes (amongst other limited physical factors) caused by the use of the new or altered public works.
We typically act for groups of affected homeowners whose properties are affected by the same scheme of alterations and in the majority of cases act on a ‘no win no fee’ (also known as a conditional fee) basis.
Further information can be found in the ‘Your questions answered’ section below, however, if you require more information or advice, and believe you may have a claim please do not hesitate to contact us.
What constitutes public works?
Public works include any work on roads and highways, airports and any other works on land provided, or used in the exercise, of statutory powers, including changes of use.
The typical example of public works in relation to road developments could include a new road, the widening or change of location or level (other than resurfacing) of existing roads or the provision of an additional carriageway on an existing road.
In the case of airport expansions and development, as well as the construction of new runways, claims can be made in respect of extensions to, major re-alignment of or strengthening of an existing runway, or substantially new or altered taxiways or the addition of new or extended aprons for the purpose of facilitating a greater number of aircraft.
What are the physical factors of public works?
The Land Compensation Act defines the physical factors which can give rise to compensation claims as noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, artificial lighting and the discharge of any solid or liquid matter onto a local resident’s property.
Whist each case is different the majority of claims our land compensation solicitors have dealt with the result from a change in noise levels, although we are aware that other physical factors may also be apparent. In one of our recent cases the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), the court that determines claims brought under the Act, acknowledged in its award of compensation that absolute noise levels need not have increased in order for compensation to be payable. In that case the Tribunal awarded compensation in light of evidence of a change in the character of noise.
In addition to noise, artificial light, both from vehicle headlights and street lighting, can cause considerable nuisance and can result in a diminution in value, and is recognised by the Act. This may be particularly relevant especially in rural areas where, previously, there was no light interference.
In recent years with a growing awareness of air pollution we hear more homeowners voice concerns in relation to fumes and odour.
When should I make a claim under the Land Compensation Act?
There are time limits for making a claim under the Land Compensation Act and a complex array of statutory provisions also apply, particularly if you are intending to sell your property. If you believe that you may have a claim under the Land Compensation Act, we recommend that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Why use Hugh James for a Land Compensation Act claim?
Hugh James environmental lawyers have over 16 years experience dealing with Part 1 claims. During this time we have acted for claimants in complex matters that have centred on interpretation of particular provisions of the Act, in addition to seeking compensation.
We have acted for over 750 claimants in road and airport claims and have had several matters determined in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), and the Court of Appeal.
All of our land compensation claims are dealt with by a dedicated team of environmental lawyers. Our environmental lawyers keep up to date with legal developments in this area and together we have built up many years of experience in the field. We work closely with specialist barristers and instruct specialist experts to ensure we get the best results for our clients.
Our environmental lawyers handle a variety of claims from modest terrace houses to large family estates. We pride ourselves on the fact that we provide the same efficient friendly service to all clients.