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Severance, Injurious Affection and Betterment

  • The following is a brief statement of the relevant compensation law; it is not a comprehensive guide, for specific enquiries contact Property Taxation Specialists.
  • This subject is one of the most contentious in compensation law; it deals not only with payment for any additional loss associated with land held with land taken but the ability of an acquiring authority to reduce compensation payable due to any benefit perceived to be “gained” by other contiguous or adjacent land.
  • This area is one where professional advice is absolutely essential to ensure that a claimant gains a true measure of compensation for their loss.
  • Section 7 CPA 1965 states, “regard shall be had not only to the value of the land to be purchased by the acquiring authority but also to the damage, if any, to be sustained by the owner of the land by reason of the severing of the land from the other land of the owner, or otherwise injuriously affecting the other land.”
  • Also covered within this area are the effects of works of mitigation, sound proofing etc carried out under the LCA 1973 Part 1.
  • Betterment refers to any increase in value to a claimant’s retained land resulting from the implementation of a scheme of public works; this betterment may be set off against the compensation paid for the land taken.
  • A simple example would be an improved access due to highway works increasing site value, or the potential to carry out development being created due to public works. The main provisions are in Section 7 LCA 1961 but some Highways Acts contain their own specific rules as does the LCA 1973, Part 1.
  • Claimants can of course only realise this value on sale or by carrying out development. Where land is to be retained in its existing use this increase in value is locked in and may not truly compensate an owner for their loss, at least in their own eyes.
  • Argument in these cases can be long drawn out as acquiring authorities and the Highways Agency often seek to defend, what are in their eyes, important points of principle.
  • For the services offered by Property Taxation Specialists see Compulsory Purchase Services.
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