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Standard Commercial Property Securities Ltd v Glasgow City Council [2006] UKHL 50

A planning authority had acted within the powers set out in Part VIII of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 in acquiring a site compulsorily and entering into an agreement with a developer whereby the site would be transferred to the developer in exchange for the latter’s undertaking to redevelop the site and indemnify the authority for the money expended in assembling the site and making it available.

24 November 2006

The first appellant developer (X) appealed against a ruling of the First Division ([2005] SLT 144) that the decisions of the second appellant planning authority (G) to agree to the selection of X as the preferred developer for a city centre site and to enter into a “back-to-back agreement” with it were ultra vires and unreasonable. G had decided to use its powers of compulsory purchase to acquire the site, which was in multiple ownership and in need of redevelopment. At the same time, it entered into a back-to-back agreement with X, which owned part of the site, whereby the site would be made over to X in exchange for its undertaking to carry out the necessary redevelopment work at its own expense and to indemnify G for the money expended in assembling the site and making it available. The issue related to the terms on which the land had been disposed of to X and whether G had been entitled to conclude that those terms were the best that could reasonably be obtained for...

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