Warrington Western Link – Statutory Blight Process

Statutory Blight Process

Following Executive Board approval of the Council Project Team’s recommended route for the Western Link, the Project Team will be submitting a major scheme funding bid to the Department of Transport by the end of December 2017. The Western Link is now classed as an official Council scheme, and the Council will be pursuing various funding routes to secure its timely delivery.

The Western Link scheme may give rise to Statutory Blight pursuant to Part VI, Chapter II and Schedule 13 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) as a consequence of the Council formally announcing the preferred route.  For those residents who consider that they have a claim for statutory blight, information is provided below regarding the formal process. In order to avoid claims being unduly delayed, all claimants should adopt the process detailed below.

Statutory blight is a complex area of law and the Council would suggest that any potential claimants seek independent professional advice from a specialist surveyor. Details of surveyors in your area can be obtained from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Statutory blight notices must be lodged in a prescribed form, as set out by Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992. Your professional advisor will assist with the drafting of this form, an example of which can be viewed here. Any claim for statutory blight which does not follow the prescribed form will not be considered by the Council.

A statutory blight notice served on the Council must be sent to  the Council appointed solicitors, TLT LLP, via our dedicated email address at westernlink@tltsolicitors.com or by post to:

Warrington Western Link
c/o Debbie Reynolds
3 Hardman Square
M3 3EB

In the legislation, following a statutory blight notice being lodged, the claimant can expect an acknowledgement to be provided to the claimant, or the claimant’s agent, within two weeks of receipt.

An assessment of eligibility will then be made against the criteria for statutory blight, as set out in the legislation.  Where the eligibility criteria is met, an assessment of the statutory blight notice will be made on the basis of the need for the claimant’s property in the scheme and whether reasonable efforts to sell at a realistic price have been made, with evidence of those efforts having been provided.  It is suggested that evidence of efforts to sell over a 6 month period should be provided.

If the statutory blight notice is accepted, an offer to purchase will be made within 2 calendar months of the date of service of the statutory blight notice, and a professional valuer will be appointed by the Council to discuss compensation. The claimant then has 3 years to complete the sale of the property to the Council, unless possession is taken by the Council sooner.

If the statutory blight notice is not accepted for any of the reasons as set out in legislation, a counter-notice will be served by the Council within 2 calendar months from the date of service.

The claimant then has 2 calendar months to either accept the counter-notice or make a formal reference to the Lands Chamber of the Upper Tribunal.  The Lands Chamber of the Upper Tribunal is the legal arena within which compensation and valuation issues are determined.  If there is no response from the claimant to the Council's counter-notice within 2 calendar months of the date of service, the statutory blight notice will lapse and the statutory blight procedure would need to be re-started by the claimant.

You can download a Blight Notice Claim form [pdf]

Warrington Western Link – ‘Part I Claims’

Following the delivery of the Western Link project, residents may suffer detriment to their property based on direct physical impacts of its use.  These impacts include: noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, artificial lighting and discharge on to the property of any solid or liquid substance, which have resulted in a reduction in value by more than £50.

Loss of view or privacy, personal inconvenience and physical factors arising during the construction of the road are not eligible ‘physical factors’ under Part I compensation.

The cause of the physical factors must be the use of the new or altered road. For example, if a road is altered, the noise and other adverse effects must arise from the traffic using the altered stretch of road. Part I compensation cannot be claimed for the effects of traffic further down the road where no alteration has taken place.

Under Part 1 of the Land and Compensation Act 1973, claimants may only make a claim after a period of one year and one day following the scheme being completed and the new or altered highway first coming into public use. Such claims must be based upon the detriment caused to the value of the claimant's property by the above physical factors.

You can make a claim yourself or ask someone to do this for you. Anyone can act for you but most people prefer to use a professional property valuer or an agent that specialises in Part I claims to prepare and negotiate the claim on their behalf.

Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/compensation-road-property-value