LE GROS v STATES of JERSEY HOUSING COMMITTEE [Royal Ct]

JurisdictionJersey
CourtRoyal Court
Judge(Le Masurier, Bailiff and Jurats Hyland and Ryan):
Judgment Date25 September 1974
Date25 September 1974
ROYAL COURT
(Le Masurier, Bailiff and Jurats Hyland and Ryan):

R. Vibert for the plaintiff;

H.M. Attorney General for the defendant.

Planning Law—compulsory purchase—settlement of price by arbitration—judicial review—court may interfere with award of Board of Arbitrators if arbitrators exceed authority, wrong in law, deny justice to parties or reach unreasonable conclusion—cannot interfere with award regularly made in exercise of discretion

Planning Law—compulsory purchase—settlement of price by arbitration—valuation at "open market" price under Compulsory Purchase of Land (Procedure) (Jersey) Law 1961, art. 9(1)(b) effectively means price at which Housing Committee would allow land to be sold—Board of Arbitrators to have regard to suitability of land for development at specified densities of housing and probability of Island Development Committee approving such development plans

LE MASURIER, BAILIFF: Mr. Michael Henry Peter Le Gros, the plaintiff, is the owner of land in the Parish of St. Saviour which, on January 30th, 1973, the States resolved should be acquired by compulsory purchase and made available to the defendant, that is to say the Housing Committee of the States, the duty of which is to endeavour to provide for the housing needs of the Island's population.

The amount of compensation to be paid to the plaintiff was referred to arbitration in accordance with the provisions of the Compulsory Purchase of Land (Procedure) (Jersey) Law, 1961, and on November 22nd and December 5th, 1973, evidence and arguments having been heard by the Board, the Board of Arbitrators made its award which, in the interests of clarity, we quote in full.

"The Board of Arbitrators was constituted by Act of the Royal Court dated the Twenty-fourth day of August One thousand nine hundred and seventy-three and charged to determine the amount of compensation payable to Michael Henry Peter Le Gros ('the owner') and Marjorie Maud Le Gallais (née Hargreaves) ('Mrs. Le Gallais') in respect of the compulsory purchase by the States of Jersey Housing Committee ('the acquiring authority') of the field in the Parish of St. Saviour called 'Le Jar din a Pommiers et Clos de la Maison' ('the land') bearing the numbers 631 and 632 on the ordnance survey map.

Directions were given by the Chairman of the Board in accordance with the provisions of Article 1 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land (Board of Arbitrators) (Procedure) (Jersey) Regulations 1967 and written pleadings were submitted by the owner and the acquiring authority.

Mrs. Le Gallais' interest in the land was a right of dower and her legal adviser informed the Board that she would not wish it to make a separate award of compensation to her but that she and the owner would deal with the matter between themselves. The Board has, therefore, proceeded to determine the amount of compensation which should be paid to the owner without taking into consideration Mrs. Le Gallais' right of dower on the land.

The Board met in public in the Old Committee Room, States Buildings, St. Helier, on 22nd November, 1973. Advocate R. Vibert represented the owner and P.L. Crill, Esq., H.M. Attorney General, appeared for the acquiring authority. It was agreed by the parties that witnesses need not be sworn but at Advocate Vibert's request the witnesses retired until their evidence had been heard. The Board sat throughout the day for the purpose of hearing the evidence of the witnesses. The hearing was then adjourned in order that the Board might visit the land and was resumed in the New Committee Room of the States Buildings on the afternoon of the 5th of December, 1973, when Advocate Vibert and the Attorney General summed up the case for the owner and the acquiring authority. The Board reserved its decision.

Article 9(1)(b) of the Compulsory Purchase of Land (Procedure) (Jersey) Law, 1961, provides that 'the value of land shall . . . be taken to be the amount which the land, if sold in the open market by a willing seller, might expect to realize . . .' It was common ground between the parties, however, that the Board would have to take into account the effect on the value of the land of the controls of the States Island Development and Housing Committees and the Board accepts this as being correct in Law. Having regard to the Housing Committee's powers of price control it appears to the Board that the phrase 'open market' is virtually meaningless in a case such as this. There can be no doubt that in an island faced with such an acute housing shortage, where builders and speculators are ravenous for every scrap of development land, the owner must surely have commanded a very high price indeed for the land were it not for the Housing Committee's powers. Certainly it seems to the Board that supply and...

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10 cases
  • Mark Amy Ltd and The Viscount v Olcott Investments Ltd
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 4 November 1996
    ...Navegacas S.A. v. Reederei Richard Schroeder K.G., The Erich Schroeder, [1974] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 192, applied. (4) Le Gros v. Housing Cttee., 1974 J.J. 77, applied. (5) Le Quesne (Charles) (1956) Ltd. v. T.S.B. Channel Islands Ltd., Royal Ct., September 4th, 1986, unreported. (6) Matheson & Co......
  • Lesquende Ltd v Planning and Environment Committee
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 17 February 1997
    ...Sol. Jo. 212, dicta of Scott, L.J. applied. (14) Housing Cttee. v. Phantesie Invs. Ltd., 1985-86 JLR 96. (15) Le Gros v. Housing Cttee., 1974 J.J. 77, considered. (16) Le Masurier v. Natural Beauties Cttee., Royal Ct. (1958), 13 C.R. 138, unreported. (17) Le Mottée v. Wilson, 1978 J.J. 167.......
  • Planning Cttee. v Lesquende Ltd
    • United Kingdom
    • Privy Council
    • 5 January 1998
    ...re, [1922] 2 Ch. 599; (1922), 127 L.T. 622; 38 T.L.R. 779; 91 L.J. Ch. 824; 66 Sol. Jo. 611, considered. (10) Le Gros v. Housing Cttee., 1974 J.J. 77, considered. (11) Le Masurier v. Natural Beauties Cttee., Royal Ct. (1958), 13 C.R. 138, unreported. (12) Leech v. Deputy Governor of Parkhur......
  • Lesquende Ltd v Planning and Environment Committee
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 13 March 1996
    ...404; 110 L.J.K.B. 353; 105 J.P. 223; 39 L.G.R. 367; 85 Sol. Jo. 212, dicta of Scott, L.J. considered. (7) Le Gros v. Housing Cttee., 1974 J.J. 77, considered. (8) Le Gros v. Housing Cttee., 1977 J.J. 59, considered. (9) Lord Advocate v. Walker Trustees, [1912] A.C. 95; (1911), 106 L.T. 194;......
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