Book Reviews

Compulsory Purchase and Compensation

Publisher: Routledge Law

Author: Barry Denyer-Green

Price: 44.99

Edition: 10th Edition (August 2013)

ISBN: 978-0-415-62992-8

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With the increase in major infrastructure projects, like Crossrail and HS2, comes an increased use of compulsory purchase powers (or legislation adopting a scheme similar to those powers).  The number of cases being determined by the Lands Chamber of the Upper Tribunal continues to increase and many of those relate to the compulsory acquisition of land.  Unfortunately, compulsory purchase continues to be a complicated area of law requiring specialist advice.  Even the Law Commission has called for a drastic overhaul and consolidation of the legislation.  It is therefore more important than ever to have a coherent and accessible guide to the law.  Fortunately, this is exactly what Barry Denyer-Green's well-regarded Compulsory Purchase and Compensation provides.

Written by an experienced compulsory purchase barrister and former surveyor, Compulsory Purchase and Compensation is split into five parts: the power to compulsorily purchase land; exercising the powers of compulsory purchase; compensation for the compulsory purchase of land; worsenment: compensation and mitigation.  Each part has a number of sub-chapters.  Part I includes chapters on: the need of statutory powers; purchase and blight notices; and purchase and disposal by agreement.  Part III includes chapters on: introduction to the assessment of compensation for land acquired; compensation for land acquired: market value; the effect of the scheme; compensation for disturbance and other matters; and special compensation procedures. 

Those readers who have used earlier editions will notice two obvious changes from the last edition: a change of publisher (with Estates Gazette Books being an imprint of Routledge) and an increase in the page size (which means the text does not span as many pages).  The latter is a particularly welcome change: the spine of the last edition was already creaking under the task of spanning so many pages.  The quality of Compulsory Purchase and Compensation remains, however, the same: it continues to provide an accessible explanation of a complicated area of law.  It is therefore ideal for students and inexperienced practitioners (but even experienced practitioners will get a lot of value out of it; but they may need to supplement it with further research for more technical points of detail).

Compulsory Purchase and Compensation remains a fantastic introductory text to this complex area of law.  It clearly explains the key issues and principles allowing the reader to quickly understand the law.  It has been thoroughly updated since the last edition to include the case-law and legislative developments (including Thomas Newall and Bishopsgate (amongst others) and the changes to the scheme for certificates of appropriate alternative development).  Its price, at just under 45, makes it excellent value for money.  It should (at the very least) be part of any compulsory purchase practitioner's library.

Reviewed on 27 July 2014

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