O’Connor & others v. Wiltshire County Council  EWCA Civ 426
Successful appeal on behalf of the claimants of the Tribunal’s determination of a preliminary issue that related to section 19(3) of the 1973 Act, which had the effect of barring any claim to compensation which the claimants might otherwise have had. The Court of Appeal, overturning the Tribunal’s decision, found that the road was a highway, maintainable at the public expense (within the definition provided in section 36(2) of the highways Act 1980) and accordingly the claimants were not barred by section 19(3) to compensation in this case.
Johnston & Ors v. TAG Farnborough Airport Ltd  UKUT 534 (LC)
The Tribunal determined various preliminary issues during a four week long trial for two groups of claimants, all concerning the development of Farnborough Airport and the viability of claims made under Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act. Our solicitors acted for both groups of claimants, receiving instructions from the first group of claimants after their claims had already been referred to the Tribunal by their surveyors. The tribunal found for the first group of claimants in respect of all but one of the preliminary issues. Despite the timing of the claims having been based on information provided by the Airport, the Tribunal determined that the first group of claimants were time barred from advancing claims due to their claims having been made out of time. The Tribunal confirmed the viability of the claims of the second group of claimants, arising from later development at the airport, namely the West One Apron.
Goodman & Others v. Transport for London  UKUT 126 (LC)
Determination of several Part 1 Land Compensation Act claims, with all awarded compensation for the depreciation to property values as a result of the sue of the Coulsdon Relief Road. In its decision, the Tribunal also considered and ultimately accepted the claimants’ factual accounts of their experience of noise, over the technical noise data, finding there had been a significant change to the character of the noise which was not caught by the noise data.
Mann & Others v. Transport for London  EWCA Civ 1520
Appeal of the Tribunal’s cost decision to award the claimants their costs of their claims under Part 1 of the 1973 Act for compensation for depreciation in the value of their properties, resulting from the use of public works comprised in the Coulsdon Relief Road, on the standard basis (rather than indemnity basis) despite the levels of compensation awarded by the Tribunal exceeding earlier offers to settle.
Heath Colin Alridge & Others and London Southend Airport Company Limited  UKUT 0008 (LC)
In March 2019 190 current and former owners of houses in the vicinity of the London Southend Airport (‘the Airport’) referred claims to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chambers) for compensation under Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act 1973.
The claimants asserted that the value of their homes had been depreciated due to the coming into use of a new runway extension at the airport which they argued had increased the level of noise that they experienced, particularly, from larger aircraft.
The runway extension enabled the Airport to attract low-cost commercial airlines operating larger aircraft than had previously flown from the Airport. In April 2012 easyJet began to operate services from the Airport using Airbus A319 jets and shortly after that Ryanair commenced regular flights with similar aircraft.
Whilst publicly confirming it would honour the compensation claims if loss of value was proven, London Southend Airport Company Limited defended the claims; denying the claim properties had depreciated in value by reason of the use of the runway extension.
The parties identified 10 representative proper claims and agreed that those claims should be determined first. The representative cases were heard in October 2020, the trial was conducted remotely due to ongoing restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cases were heard by Martin Roger QC, Deputy President of the Lands Chamber and Andrew Trott FRICS who considered expert evidence, claimant’s factual accounts and inspected the lead claimants’ properties.
The Tribunal upheld 9 of the 10 representative cases making awards of compensation ranging from £4000 to £17,000 depending on the capital value of the property and the assessed impact of the increase in the noise.
The Tribunal’s conclusion that the use of the runway had caused depreciated was founded on the expert evidence about how the noise environment in the vicinity of the airport changed and on its general experience of how property markets respond to deteriorating environmental factors. The Tribunal also placed weight on the anecdotal evidence of the claimants about the marketing of their own properties as well as the mass of sales evidence provided by the claimants’ valuation expert.
The decision paved the way for the successful resolution of all remaining claims by agreement by reference to the guidance provided by the Tribunal’s decision.