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‘Ransom’ Value of Shooting Rights Disregarded

In a guideline case on the valuation of property rights perceived as holding ‘ransom’ value, a landowner whose shooting rights were compulsorily acquired by a local authority has had his hopes of a £5.6 million compensation payout dashed.

The shooting rights were acquired to enable the relocation of a livestock market from a town centre. That in turn opened the way for construction of a supermarket and a public library on the vacated site. The landowner argued that his shooting rights held ‘the key’ to the entire project and that their ransom value was therefore measured in millions. The council retorted that they were only worth about £1,000.

Ruling in the council’s favour, the Upper Tribunal (UT) noted that no other developer had expressed any interest in acquiring the shooting rights. Any increase in their value was solely attributable to the council’s scheme and stood to be disregarded. The landowner was entitled only to compensation to reflect the ‘intrinsic value’ of the rights of which he had been deprived.