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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 05/12/2006
Scheme of Office Delegation




[Wards Affected: All]
Summary and purpose:

This report sets out a proposed revision to the Scheme of Delegation to development control officers in order to deal with anticipated applications for “Certificates of Appropriate Alternative Development” (hereafter referred to as “Certificates”) pursuant to the Land Compensation Act 1961.

E-Government implications:

There are no e-government implications arising from this report.

Resource and legal implications:

The resource and legal implications are limited to the production of a new general authorisation from the Director of Planning & Development to officers in the Planning Department permitting the issuing of Certificates to be undertaken by such officers. The Certificates are thus more likely to be issued within the statutory time scale for dealing with applications of two months, which will avoid officers’ participation in otherwise unnecessary appeals to the Secretary of State.


1. As Members will be aware, the A3 tunnel proposals at Hindhead are likely to lead to the compulsory purchase of land in the area in order to facilitate the development of the tunnel.

2. Part II of the Land Compensation Act 1961 provides that compensation for the compulsory purchase of land is assessed and made on a market value basis. However, in addition to existing planning permissions, sections 14 – 16 of the 1961 Act provide for certain assumptions as to what planning permissions might be granted to be taken into account in determining the market value of land.

3. To establish what permissions might be granted, it is open to either the landowner or the acquiring authority to apply to the local planning authority for a Certificate. By issuing a Certificate the local planning authority is indicating the kind of development (if any) for which planning permission can be assumed, and for compensation purposes, the permissions indicated in the certificate are those with which an owner might reasonably have expected to sell his land on the open market if it had not been compulsorily acquired.

4. There is no fee payable to the local planning authority on such applications.


5. In several instances of compulsory purchase there may be no need to apply for a Certificate because the planning position is straightforward. However, circumstances in which Certificates may be required include:

(a) where there is no adopted development plan covering the land to be acquired;
(b) where the adopted development plan indicates a green belt or area of special landscape value, or leaves the site without specific allocation; and
(c) where the site is allocated in the adopted development plan specifically for some public purpose, such as the new road (eg Local Plan policy M18).

6. The local planning authority is required to issue a Certificate stating what planning permissions would have been granted (whether contemporaneously or in the future) if the land were not to be compulsorily acquired. The Certificate must also state what conditions would apply to any such permissions. The relevant date for the Certificate is the date upon which the interest in land is proposed to be acquired under compulsory purchase powers. The local planning authority needs to have regard to the physical state of the land and the area in which it is situated; the current and reasonably foreseeable planning policies applying to the land; and must identify and disregard the planning consequences of the acquisition scheme and the underlying public purpose for it (the “no scheme” world). The local planning authority is not involved in assessing the value of the land, but merely the planning assumptions that govern such an assessment. It is open to either the landowner or the acquiring authority to appeal against these assumptions, evidenced by the Certificate, to the Secretary of State.

7. Paragraph 3(4) of the Land Compensation Development Order 1974 (SI 1974/529, as amended by SI 1986/435) provides that the local planning authority must issue a Certificate within two months of receiving an application. If a Certificate is not issued within this period, the applicant must appeal to the Secretary of State within one month of the date by which the Certificate should have been issued (or within one month of the date of the Certificate).

8. Notwithstanding that there is some scope for agreeing an extended period for consideration with the applicant, it is therefore essential that all such applications are dealt with expeditiously.


It is recommended to the Council that, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 101 of the Local Government Act 1972, the Director of Planning and Development be authorised to discharge the functions of the local planning authority in respect of applications for Certificates of Appropriate Alternative Development made pursuant to Section 17 of the Land Compensation Act 1961, and that the Council’s Scheme of Delegation to Officers be amended accordingly.

Background Papers (MD/DoPD)

There are no background papers (as defined by section 100D(5) of the 1972 Local Government Act) relating to this report.


Name: Laura Renaudon Telephone: (01483) 523113
E-mail: lrenaudon@waverley.gov.uk