Compulsory powers – Purchase – Disputed compensation – Six year period from date of known vesting during which questions of disputed compensation to be referred to Lands Tribunal – Lapse of more than six years from alleged date of service of notices of general vesting declaration but less than six years from date of vesting – Proof of service of notices – Whether references time-barred – Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972 (c.52), Sch. 24, para 36(1)
By paragraph 36(1) of Schedule 24 to the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972 it is provided that: “The time within which a question of disputed compensation, arising out of an acquisition of an interest in land … may be referred to the Lands Tribunal shall be six years from the date at which the person claiming compensation … first knew, or could reasonably be expected to have known, of the vesting of the interest … ”.
In implement of a compulsory purchase order a local authority made a general vesting declaration in which they gave notice that the properties would vest in them on a day one month later. On that date they entered into possession. The former owners' claims for compensation were disputed, but they did not refer them to the Lands Tribunal for more than six years after the alleged date of service of the notices of vesting, though less than six years after the date of vesting. The acquiring authority pleaded that the references were time-barred, since the date of service of the notices was the date at which the claimants first knew, or could reasonably be expected to have known, of the vesting of their interests. For the claimants it was submitted that it had not been proved that the notices had been served, and that they could not know, or reasonably be expected to know, of the vesting until the vesting date.
Held that the date of vesting was the earliest time from which the six years could be taken to have run, and that the references to the Lands Tribunal were accordingly timeous, and proof allowed on the amounts of the claims.
Observed that it had been proved that the notices had been served, and that the claimants could reasonably be expected to have known then what was the date on which it was intended that vesting should take place.
See full decision: LTS/COMP/1995/15 & 16