What are you looking for?

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.

Our experience

O’Connor & others v. Wiltshire County Council [2007] 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.

England and Wales Court of Appeal Decision 

Johnston & Ors v. TAG Farnborough Airport Ltd [2015] 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.

United Kingdom Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber)

Goodman & Others v. Transport for London [2016] 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.

United Kingdom Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber)

Mann & Others v. Transport for London [2018] 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.

England and Wales Court of Appeal Decision 

Heath Colin Alridge & Others and London Southend Airport Company Limited [2021] 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.

United Kingdom Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber)

Key contact

Neil Stockdale


Neil is head of the firm’s group actions and financial mis-selling teams, specialising in handling claims for financial mis-selling relating to energy contracts, pensions, investments and timeshares.

Your questions answered

Compensation for a claim under the Land Compensation Act is assessed in relation to the property value and the loss and disruption caused by the physical factors listed above. Compensation is assessed at a certain ‘snap shot’ in time, one year after completion and first use of the new or altered public works.

Disputes concerning Part I of the act claims are determined by the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) which is a Court of Law. There are strict statutory provisions that apply to claims under the Act which if not complied with can prevent you pursuing a claim. We, therefore, strongly recommend that solicitors are appointed and legal advice sought from the outset of a claim being notified to a responsible authority.

At Hugh James solicitors we appreciate that it is often difficult to fund legal actions and so when possible and appropriate our environmental law solicitors are able to offer free initial specialist environmental law advice about starting a legal challenge.

Our skilled and experienced environmental law solicitors have handled many thousands of claims under the Land Compensation Act 1973 and we can arrange to deal with suitable claims on a no win, no fee basis.

Next steps

We’re here to get things moving. Drop a message to one of our experts and we’ll get straight back to you.

Call us: 033 3016 2222

Message us