Letter: Compensation laws need to be extended

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The Independent Online
I READ with some sympathy of the plight of businesses seriously affected by works in connection with the Jubilee Line extension ('Shop owners find there's no return on Jubilee Line', Business, 17 July).

As your article outlines, the 1965 Compulsory Purchase Act gives a statutory entitlement to compensation where land has been 'injuriously affected' by public works but where no land has been compulsorily acquired. This entitlement has to be considered, however, in conjunction with earlier decisions in the courts which restricted compensation to any diminution in the value of the claimant's interest in the land.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has contended for some time that the legislation should be amended to provide that, if a claimant can show entitlement for injurious affection, he should receive compensation for all losses including loss of profits, and not just for depreciation in the value of the land.

It is impractical to expect that all those affected in some way by works of public development can be compensated. However, there are clearly cases of considerable hardship which are, in our view, capable of being remedied without imposing an undue additional burden on the 'public purse'.

The institution will continue to press for appropriate changes to the current legislation.

A M Chase

Chairman, Compensation Group

The Royal Institution of

Chartered Surveyors

London W1