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If I Can’t Use It, You’ll Have to Buy It | DFA Law Northampton Solicitors News

PLEASE NOTE: Information in this article is correct at the time of publication, please contact DFA Law for current advice on older articles.

A recent case brought a property owner into conflict with his local council after he had been refused planning permission for a change of use of amenity land beside his house to use as a garden.

The owner had bought the land, part of a former primary school, for £9,000. When planning permission for a change of use was refused, he served a notice on the council to require it to buy the land from him on the ground that it had become incapable of reasonably beneficial use.

He sought the sum he had paid plus the costs of bringing the action. Unfortunately for him, the Tribunal’s valuation was based on the value as amenity land (which it assessed at £50) and as a site for development. Normally, the latter would exceed the former by a wide margin, but the council had issued a notice confirming that the only permission for development that would be granted would be for use as a school. This, the Tribunal ruled, would value the land at nil.

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