Is the ability to subdivide land of “special value” in compulsory acquisitions?

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In Denshire v Roads and Maritime Services [2017] NSWLEC 181 Mr Denshire’s land was compulsorily acquired by the RMS for a highway upgrade. Mr Denshire appealed under s 66(1) Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 regarding the compensation payable. Mr Denshire submitted a claim for special value since his father had plans to subdivide the land and sell off individual lots. In the Act special value means the financial value of any advantage of land in addition to the market value.

The Court held that the potential to subdivide and sell of individual lots is not a special quality of the land. Rather it is an inherent characteristic of the land. Its value is included in the market value. Hence no additional compensation was payable to Mr Denshire.

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