Land Disposal

February 25th, 2013

In R (London Jewish Girls’ High Ltd) v Barnet LBC, Lawtel AC9301237, Mitting J, on 20 February 2013, dismissed the claim, which concerned the disposal of land by a local authority for “best consideration” under s.123 of the Local Government Act 1972.  The Court was entitled to have regard to the consideration offered as at the date of the hearing of the claim for judicial review, and not simply the competing offers as they stood before the decision maker.  On this basis, the proposed sale did not breach s.123 in circumstances where the developer’s proposal was clearly the better bid, having regard to the cash offered together with overage payments. Mitting J went on give guidance (obiter) as to what matters could be treated as consideration for the purposes of s.123. He held that the value of affordable housing units as part of a development scheme and contributions under a section 106 agreement could not amount to consideration within the meaning of s.123, however he held, tentatively, that nomination rights over affordable housing were capable of amounting to consideration on the basis that these were benefits accruing to the Council from the use of the land that are of commercial and monetary value to the Council.

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