Brentwood Borough Council

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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 10345

Community Asset Register

Request

Please explain what assessment was made of the potential claims that could be made by Tesco as a result of their land at Sawyers Hall Farm being listed in the Community Asset Register in January 2015.

Specifically this included (but is not limited to) compensation payable by virtue of regulations 14 and 16 of the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012.

Response

As set out in the Localism Act private owners may claim compensation for loss and expense incurred through the asset being listed or previously listed. The Regulations specifically provide that this will include a claim arising from a period of delay in entering into a binding agreement to sell which is wholly caused by the interim or full moratorium period; or for legal expenses incurred in a successful appeal to the Tribunal.
 
The time limit for making a compensation claim is specified in Schedule 2 to the Regulations as whichever is earlier of 13 weeks from the end of the interim or full moratorium period (as appropriate) or from the date when the land ceases to be listed. The assumption is that most claims for compensation will arise from a moratorium period being applied; however the wording allows for claims for loss or expense arising simply as a result of the land being listed.
 
Claims must be made in writing, state the amount of compensation sought and provide supporting evidence. The burden of proving the claim falls on the owner.
 
The local authority must consider the claim and is required to give written reasons for its decision. No time limit is specified for responding to the claim. The reason for this is that it may take the authority some time to assemble all the necessary evidence; however once it has all the facts the authority should reach a decision as quickly as is practicable.
 
As with other costs incurred by local authorities in meeting the requirements placed on them, the Government has reflected the estimated costs of compensation within the new burdens funding which is given to local authorities. The compensation elements of new burdens funding are estimated on the basis of 40 successful claims for compensation across all administering local authorities over a year.
 
In addition to the amount included within the new burdens assessment, the Government will meet costs of compensation payments of over £20k of compensation costs in a financial year. This could occur through a local authority paying out over £20k in one financial year either on one large claim or as a combined total on a number of smaller claims.
 
Local authorities can write into the Communities Department with a request for financial support providing evidence of the compensation costs incurred.