It is often thought that if a planning decision with which you are unhappy goes ahead and the development takes place, you must simply grin and bear it. This is not always the case. For example, if public construction works have an impact on the value of your home, you should take specialist legal advice to ensure that you are properly compensated for your loss.
In one recent case, householders whose properties were blighted by a road building project secured a settlement of more than £125,000.
Twelve homeowners argued that their properties had been devalued by the noise of traffic travelling along a newly constructed bypass. However, Transport for London, which built the road, argued that the properties were already affected by the sound of a nearby train line and that the road had made little appreciable difference. It contended that the overall noise level (including rail noise) had not increased to the extent that most people would find problematic.
Ruling in the homeowners’ favour, however, the Upper Tribunal found that the character of the road noise had changed since the road was opened and that it ‘filled in the gaps’ between the sound of passing trains. Some of the properties had also been affected by increased vibration, dust and artificial lighting.
The diminution in value of the properties was assessed at between 1 per cent and 4 per cent and compensation awards to the householders ranged from £3,000 to £13,000. The total of the awards, made under the Land Compensation Act 1973, came to £125,800.