Planning & Environment

Enjoyed presenting at the recent Compulsory Purchase Association Scotland workshop, part of a series examining the Scottish Law Commission’s proposals to reform CPO law.

My session discussed the issue of betterment: the powers available to the acquiring authority to offset compensation due against any increase in value to other adjacent land owned by the claimant.

Most larger scale CPOs will involve some benefit to the area, so betterment will often be an issue.

The discussion included:

  • the cost to the public purse
  • unfairness – other landowners may gain an increase in value but that is not offset because their land is not being acquired
  • the risk of double-counting now that the planning system seeks to recoup infrastructure costs from developers, although that will depend on the extent to which that is reflected in the land values
  • whether the financial gain could be clawed-back later, rather than as uncertain hope value
  • should acquiring authorities be given a much clearer duty to prove betterment


Neil Collar

Partner at Brodies LLP
Neil is a partner at Brodies LLP and consistently rated as one of Scotland’s leading planning lawyers. He is well known for both his planning inquiry advocacy and his advisory work. Neil has a particular interest in renewable energy developments.
Neil Collar