The Upper Tribunal Lands Chamber (Martin Rodger QC, Deputy Chamber President, and Mr Peter McCrae FRICS) has allowed an appeal against a certificate of appropriate alternative development: Pro Investments Ltd v Hounslow LBC ACQ/24/2018;  UKUT 319 (LC).
The Claimant’s land had been acquired compulsorily to construct 3 tall residential buildings as part of “enabling” development comprising in total 10 primarily residential tower blocks to provide funding for a new stadium for Brentford Football Club.
The main issue related to the acceptable height, scale and massing of development having regard to the degree of harm that would have been caused to the setting of a number of surrounding heritage assets. The Claimant contended that, in the absence of the stadium scheme, planning permission would have been granted for three tall buildings of similar scale to those comprised in the scheme. The Acquiring Authority contended that, in the absence of the scheme, planning permission would not have been granted for buildings taller than the existing surrounding development. The Tribunal rejected the Acquiring Authority’s contention and exercised its power to certify that planning permission would have been granted for buildings significantly higher than the existing pattern of development albeit somewhat lower than proposed in the application. The Tribunal’s decision contains a number of instructive comments about the quality of the expert evidence.