On 15 October 2015 the council granted planning permission for the Your New Town Hall Project at the Triangle Site. If this development is constructed it will interfere with some neighbouring property rights, including the right to light. This consultation gives local residents the opportunity to comment on the actions that the council is considering taking in respect of these rights including rights to light (they will receive less day light than they do now).
The council is considering the appropriation of some of its land - coloured red on the attached plan - for planning purposes. If the council carries out the appropriation it will rely on the power contained in Section 237 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (the TCPA 1990) to construct the development despite neighbouring properties’ rights which have been identified by the council. The appropriation of this land will take away the neighbouring owner’s right to prevent the development but they will be entitled to financial compensation under Section 63 or 68 of the Land Clauses Consolidation Act 1845 or under Section 7 or 10 of the Compulsory Purchase Act 1965.
The council considers that the public benefits of this scheme are so significant that it is considering using its statutory powers to override rights including rights of light of neighbouring properties.
The council will only be able to rely on Section 237 of the TCPA 1990 if it has first appropriated the land under Section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972. In order to do so the council must be satisfied that:
- There are rights, capable of being overridden by Section 237 of the TCPA 1990, which land has and which could prevent the development being constructed.
The council has identified 24 properties which benefit from rights to light which would be materially affected to the extent that the property owners could seek compensation or injunction
- The interference with such rights as exist is necessary.
The council considers that the development could not be adjusted so that it does not interfere with neighbouring property owners’ rights to light. If the size of the development were reduced so that rights to light are not interfered with the development would be substantially reduced and would not be feasible.
- The appropriation will facilitate the carrying out of development, redevelopment or improvement on or in relation to the land to be appropriated..
The proposed development has been granted planning permission. The proposed appropriation will enable this planning permission to go ahead. The council as landowner has entered into a development agreement with its partner Muse to carry out the development.
The development will contribute to the achievement of one or more of the following objectives:
The promotion or improvement of the economic well-being of the council’s area;
- The promotion or improvement of the social well-being of the council’s area;
- The promotion or improvement of the environmental well-being of the council’s area.
The council considers the development will contribute to achieving all of these objectives for a number of reasons, including:
(i) As a mixed use development it would realise the objectives for redevelopment of council owned property to deliver affordable housing and a new Civic Centre. It would bring forward significant regeneration to this part of Brixton.
(ii) The creation of construction and commercial jobs, and provision of training opportunities, for local residents.
(iii) Improved accessibility for members of the public, community groups etc. to Brixton Town Hall.
(iv) The residential component of the scheme would create new residential units contributing to the Council’s housing targets, meeting both a local need and a regional one.
(v) The housing component includes the provision of forty per cent of the units as affordable housing.
(vi) Brixton Town Hall will be retained as the civic and administrative centre of the borough whilst restoring the building to its former glory. The consolidation of services to this part of Brixton, and the erection of the new Civic Centre supports the refurbishment works and would be unlikely to come forward independently.
(vii) The new public realm along Buckner Road, and the courtyard within the Town Hall, introduces new space within Brixton that would likely be used by visitors to the council together with council Staff. Together with a shared surface giving priority to pedestrians, planting would enhance the biodiversity value of the Triangle Site.
- There is a compelling case in the public interest that the development for which planning consent is granted by the Triangle Site planning permission, should be carried out.
Some of the public benefits of the development are set out above. It is considered that the public benefits derived from facilitating the development and set out in preceding paragraphs mean that it is necessary and proportionate to interfere with the individual property rights and that the proposed use of Section 237 powers amounts to a proportionate interference in all the circumstances
- Whether Section 237 TCPA 1990 should be engaged in relation to the rights to light and any other easements or rights or restrictions which would be overridden, and whether any interference with those rights would be proportionate.
The council considers it is proportionate to interfere with the rights in order to secure the outcomes which are considered to be in the public interest
It is considered that the public benefits derived from facilitating the development and set out above mean that it is necessary and proportionate to interfere with the rights of the individual properties’ rights to light and that the proposed use of Section 237 powers amounts to a proportionate interference in all the circumstances