Compulsory Purchase Darlington

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					Mowden Hall                             Local Authority Orders
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Darlington                              Gallowgate
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Email: keith.johnston@dcsf.gsi.gov.uk
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                                        Direct line: 0191 202 3641
                                        Fax: 0191 202 3744
                                                                            Tel: 0161 952 4229
                                        Email: Julie.HUME@gone.gsi.gov.uk   Fax: 0161 952 4106

                                                                            Michael.Morris@gonw.gsi.gov.uk

Ms Jane Turner, Senior Solicitor
County Secretary & Solicitor’s Group
Lancashire County Council
PO Box 78
County Hall
PRESTON
PR1 8XJ


Your ref: LSG4/JT/4.7019
Our ref: 888 CPO, DN5063/60/1/23,
          PNW/5063/10/1
Date:     17 January 2008



Madam

THE EDUCATION ACT 1996 (“the 1996 Act”)
HIGHWAYS ACT 1980 (“the 1980 Act”)
THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT 1976 (“the 1976 Act”)
ACQUISITION OF LAND ACT 1981 (“the 1981 Act”)
THE LANCASHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL (LAND OFF TOWNELEY HOLMES ROAD,
BURNLEY) COMPULSORY PURCHASE ORDER 2006 (“the CPO”)
APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATE UNDER SECTION 19(1)(A) OF THE ACQUISITION OF
LAND ACT 1981 IN RELATION TO COMPULSORY PURCHASE OF OPEN SPACE AND
THE GIVING OF EXCHANGE LAND IN REPLACEMENT (“the Open Space Certificate”)

1.     I am directed by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, the
Secretary of State for Transport, and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local
Government to refer to the Public Local Inquiries held at the offices of Burnley Borough
Council, Town Hall, Manchester Road, Burnley BB11 1JA between 14–17 August 2007,
before, Jonathan G King BA(Hons) DipTP MRTPI, an Inspector appointed by the
aforementioned Secretaries of State to hear objections to and representations about the
above named CPO submitted for confirmation, and Certificate applied for, by Lancashire
County Council (“the Council”).
2.     The CPO if confirmed, jointly, by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and
Families and the Secretary of State for Transport would authorise the Council to purchase
compulsorily the land and rights over land described therein for the purposes of:

       (a)   the provision and operation of a new school and institution being a
       Secondary School for 11-16 year olds and a City Learning Centre including
       improved access;

       (b)      securing and maintaining a right of way to the new school and institution
       and for the purpose of the laying and maintenance of services to the school and
       institution and drainage of the site;

       (c)     the construction of a highway being a cycle track, over which the public has
       a right of way on pedal cycles and on foot, along the existing vehicular route
       (Towneley Holmes Road, largely recorded as Byway Open to All Traffic No. 113
       Burnley);

       (d)   the improvement of the western end of Byway Open to All Traffic 113
       Burnley being a vehicular highway with vehicular traffic prohibited by Road Traffic
       Regulation Order; and

       (e)     the drainage of the highway works referred to in (c) and (d) above.

3.      The Council has asked the Secretary of State for Communities and Local
Government in respect of lands which are to be compulsorily purchased under the CPO,
to certify (referred to hereafter as “the Open Space Certificate”) for Open Space, of
Towneley Park, being plots 1, 2, 3 and 4 comprising 28,193 square metres/2.819 hectares
(“the Open Space Land”), to which title acquisition is sought under the CPO, that there will
be given in exchange for such land other land, being the land described in Schedule 2 and
is the present site of Towneley High School accessed off Towneley Holmes Road (“the
Exchange Land”), which would at 28,205 square metres/2.820 hectares be of no less area
and be equally advantageous to the persons, if any, entitled to rights of common or other
rights, and to the public, as the Open Space Land which would be lost and that the
Exchange Land would be vested in the persons in whom (and subject to the like rights,
trusts, and incidents, as attach to) the Open Space Land purchased was vested.

THE INSPECTOR'S REPORT AND CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

4.      At the start of the Inquiries there were no Qualifying Objectors to the CPO; Burnley
Borough Council as owners of all of the Order lands having resolved [on 3 July 2006] to
not object to the CPO but also not to sell, voluntarily, the Order lands. All objections were
from Non-Qualifying Objectors and were made by 82 persons or organisations prior to the
Inquiries, with a further 3 representations being made orally at the Inquiries. Support for
the proposals at the Inquiries came from Peter Pike, County Councillor Tony Martin,
Michael Murray and Peter Kenyon.

5.      The main grounds of objection to the CPO and/or the Open Space Certificate were
to the proposed siting of the replacement school; to the Council’s approach to site
identification; that there were other existing alternative sites for the proposed school; to
loss of visual and recreation amenity including in relation to the Exchange Land; flood risk;
lack of consultation by the Council; the potential for the school to be rebuilt on its existing
site; planning policy; the cost of infrastructure; traffic; potential affects on wildlife; the loss
of use for recreation and leisure of the valuable playing fields; fencing proposals of the
new school; the impact on lengths of journeys and traffic; environmental impact from the
construction phase; vehicle/pedestrian conflict brought about by increased traffic and a
resulting impediment to the [private] access rights enjoyed by Towneley Farm; and the
suitability of proposed routes associated with the new school for equestrians.

6.      The Inspector has considered all the objections to and representations about the
CPO and the Open Space Certificate both as made in writing and presented orally at the
Inquiries and has submitted his report to the aforementioned Secretaries of State. Two
copies of that report are enclosed with this letter.

7.    A full copy of the Inspector’s Conclusions and Recommendations can be found at
Annex A to the letter.

8.   In light of his conclusions the Inspector has recommended at IR 183.1 that the
CPO be confirmed and at IR 199.1 that the Open Space Certificate be given.

THE DECISION OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR CHILDREN, SCHOOLS AND
FAMILIES AND THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR TRANSPORT (“THE SECRETARIES
OF STATE”) ON THE CPO

9.     The Secretaries of State have considered carefully all the objections to, and
representation about the CPO. They have considered the Inspector’s report and accept
his conclusions and recommendations.

10.    The Secretaries of State, whilst understanding the concerns of the objectors
about the loss of what are clearly valued and much enjoyed community public open
space facilities, and of whether such loss is necessitated in the light of alternative
proposals which might be available for the siting of a replacement school, are satisfied
that there is a compelling case made for the Council’s school plans, and associated
highways works, and for the compulsory purchase of the Order lands to allow for their
implementation.

11.     The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families is persuaded that
there is now a pressing case for the Council’s CPO proposed school siting. He is
satisfied from the evidence that no other obvious alternative sites, other than that
proposed by the Council and the existing site together with adjoining land, exist. Whilst
accepting that the Council might have applied a more rigorous approach to exploring
other alternatives for building a replacement school on the existing site and utilising
other adjacent land in the possession of the Borough Council, the Secretary of State is
of the view that the Council’s chosen plans are now compelling if the major
improvement to educational provision in the area, through the Building Schools for the
Future (BSF) project which he, like the Inspector, considers so vital to this area, is to be
realised and the project assured of BSF funding which it has attracted but which
requires the school to be operational by September 2010. The Secretaries of State are
satisfied that with the provision of Exchange Land for the Open Space Land which is to
be lost, the public recreational facility will become restored. Whilst they note that a
number of objectors have raised again concerns about planning aspects of the
proposals, such matters are not for the Secretaries of State to consider, but are for
consideration under the application for planning permission and which has now been
granted.

12.    The Secretaries of State have carefully considered whether the purposes for
which the CPO is required sufficiently justify interfering with the human rights of the
objectors, owners and lessees and they are satisfied that they do. In particular, they
have considered the provisions of Article 1 of The First Protocol to the European
Convention on Human Rights. In this respect, the Secretaries of State are satisfied that
in confirming the CPO a fair balance has been struck between the public interest and
interests of the objectors, owners and lessees.

13.    The Secretaries of State do not consider that the objections, singly or together,
constitute grounds for not proceeding with the CPO proposals. For these reasons they
have decided to confirm The Lancashire County Council (Land Off Towneley Holmes
Road, Burnley) Compulsory Purchase Order 2006 and this letter constitutes their
decision to that effect.

SERVICE OF NOTICE OF THE COMPULSORY PURCHASE ORDER

14.    I enclose the confirmed CPO and the map to which it refers. Your attention is
drawn to section 15 of the 1981 Act about publication and service of notice now that the
Order has been confirmed. Please inform the Secretaries of State at the address of the
Department for Children, Schools and Families above, of the date on which notice of
confirmation of the CPO is first published in the press.

COMPENSATION

15.    Details of compensation arising as a consequence of confirmation of a compulsory
purchase order are for negotiation with the acquiring authority and not the Secretaries of
State who have confirmed the Order. Accordingly, owners and occupiers of land included
in the CPO will need to be approached by the Council about the amount of compensation
payable to them in respect of their interests in the land required for the proposals. If the
amount cannot be agreed the matter may be referred for determination by the Lands
Tribunal under the Lands Tribunal Act 1949 and the Land Compensation Act 1961.

THE DECISION OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL
GOVERNMENT ON THE OPEN SPACE CERTIFICATE

16.    The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has considered the
objections which were received to her published notice of intention to issue the above
mentioned certificate in respect of the Open Space Land and the Exchange Land, as
described in paragraph 3 above.

17.     In this context the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
agrees with the Inspector’s conclusions and recommendation regarding that certificate.
She is satisfied that the Exchange Land is not less in area and is equally advantageous to
the persons (if any) entitled to rights of common or other rights and to the public and that
the Exchange Land would be vested in the persons in whom (and subject to the like
rights, trusts, and incidents, as attach to) the Open Space Land was vested. Accordingly,
the Secretary of State has decided to issue the certificate under section 19(1)(a) of the
Acquisition of Land Act 1981 and this letter constitutes her decision to that effect. The
certificate, which is given by same date as this letter, is being forwarded separately to your
Council under cover of separate letter.

AVAILABILITY OF DOCUMENTS

18.      A copy of this letter, together with a copy of the Inspector’s report has been sent to
Burnley Borough Council and to those objectors, their representatives and the other
persons who appeared and made representations at the Inquiries. A copy of this letter,
together with a copy of the Inspector's conclusions and recommendations, has been sent
to all other supporters of the scheme, outstanding objectors and, as requested by them, to
the local media. Copies will be made available on request to any other persons directly
concerned. Please arrange for a copy of the Inspector’s report and of this letter to be
made available for inspection at the offices of the Council and at all other places used to
deposit the CPO for public inspection at making stage. Any person entitled to a copy of
the Inspector’s report may apply to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and
Families, at the above address within 6 weeks of the receipt of this letter, to inspect any
document, photograph or plan submitted by the Inspector with the Inspector’s report.
Those documents, photographs or plans, are retained at the office of the Secretary of
State for Children, Schools and Families at Mowden Hall, and would be arranged to be
made available at a local place of inspection.

We are Madam
Your obedient Servants




                                                JULIE HUME
KEITH JOHNSTON                                  Authorised by
Authorised by                                   the Secretary of State for Transport
the Secretary of State for Children, Schools    to sign in that behalf
and Families




MICHAEL MORRIS
Authorised by the Secretary of State
for Communities and Local Government
to sign in that behalf
                                                                                   ANNEX A
               CONCLUSIONS – THE COMPULSORY PURCHASE ORDER
Introduction
115. In my conclusions, numbers in square brackets [] refer to paragraphs in the body of my
     report.
116. Circular 06/2004 Compulsory Purchase and the Crichel Down Rules says that a
     Compulsory Purchase Order should only be made where there is a compelling case in the
     public interest. A balanced view has to be taken between the intentions of the acquiring
     authority and the concerns of those whose interest in land it is proposed to acquire
     compulsorily. Land should only be taken compulsorily where there is clear evidence that
     the public benefit will outweigh the private loss. The issue identified in this case by LCC is
     therefore incomplete, as it fails to recognise the importance of striking the appropriate
     balance of interest [73]
117. However, there are no Qualifying Objectors. Although it has not agreed to sell the Order
     Land to LCC, Burnley BC made no representations to the Inquiry either in person or by way
     of written representations. In the absence of direct evidence, I can draw no conclusions
     from the Council‟s position, though one might reasonably suppose that, had it any strong
     views on the matter, it would have sought to have influenced the outcome of the
     proceedings. [32, 39].
118. The objections are from members of the public and local amenity groups who seek to
     represent the public interest rather than any private interests. Consequently, the balance in
     this case is between the public benefits of an educational and community nature, as claimed
     by LCC, and other benefits for the public of a different nature, as perceived by the
     objectors.
119. An important background to the case is that outline planning permission has been granted
     for the replacement school; and many of the reserved matters and other details have been
     approved. The planning application was not called in for determination by the Secretary of
     State, in effect confirming that the proposed development was not contrary to national
     planning policy, including in relation to the use of greenfield land, flooding and recreation.
     Moreover the planning permission and the subsequent approvals have not been challenged
     through the courts, which would be the appropriate forum should anyone feel that they
     should be called into question for any reason. The permission and the approvals are
     therefore entirely valid and LCC are entitled to rely on them [33, 34, 70, 71].
120. Many of the objections addressed matters which have already been considered as part of
     this planning process. I allowed these objections to be elaborated at the Inquiry insofar as
     they may be relevant to matters of public benefit, though I explicitly indicated at the
     beginning of the Inquiry that it was not the Secretary of States‟ remit to revisit the planning
     merits of the school development.
Proposed purposes of the Order Land
121. The purposes to which the various parts of the Order Land would be put are all predicated
     on the use of the adjoining County Council land for the provision of a replacement for the
     school. The objections do not question the need for the Order Land to be acquired in that
     context, nor are the particular purposes for which they are to be acquired challenged.
     Rather, they question the choice of the site for the school. First, therefore, provided that the
     wider site is required for the replacement Unity College, I have no reason to conclude that
     the Order Land is not a necessary element of the whole. [19, 20, 90].
Need for a replacement school
122. Few, if any, objectors argue against the need for educational reorganisation in Burnley.
     Indeed, several take pains to say that they support the principle. The strength of LCC‟s case
     for reorganisation has been recognised by the inclusion of Burnley in the First Wave of the
     BFS initiative. The funding of the BSF programme has been approved on the basis of a
     comprehensive approach to the subject, having regard to a wide range of factors including
     environmental considerations [12, 15, 21, 25, 26, 28, 35, 36, 37, 38, 42, 45, 48, 58].
123. Similarly, it is generally acknowledged that, as part of the overall reorganisation, significant
     improvements to secondary education provision are needed in the south-eastern part of
     Burnley. I am satisfied that the need for educational reorganisation in this area is no less
     pressing than in the rest of the town. I have no reason to believe that the newly-defined
     catchment for Unity College is in any way inappropriate. While it covers areas with
     different socio-economic characters, levels of deprivation are high over much of the area,
     and educational achievement comparatively low. Although the catchment is partly rural,
     the majority of the pupils live in the south-eastern part of the town [13, 14, 21, 35, 36, 37,
     38, 45, 48, 58].
124. No case has been made in relation to the size of the proposed Unity College or whether it
     should encompass the proposed wider functions, including the City Learning Centre and
     facilities for community use. Together with the catchment, these factors set important
     parameters for the size and location of the site required. In terms of accessibility, a location
     on or close to the urban fringe is appropriate.
125. I conclude that there is both a need for educational reorganisation generally in Burnley and
     in the catchment area served by the present Unity College. The BSF initiative is an
     opportunity to enable a major improvement to be made to educational provision in the area.
     I take the view that the full implementation of the BSF programme, including the provision
     of a new Unity College, is a key element in the achievement of LCC‟s aspirations for
     education in the area, and a very important consideration with respect to whether the CPO
     should be confirmed.
Options for a replacement school
The proposed option
126. The majority of the objections are concerned with criticisms of the proposed site by
     reference to detailed matters, amongst which are; flooding; visual impact; traffic and
     parking; loss of recreational amenity; wildlife; and planning policy, together with the
     manner in which the decision to proceed has been taken. I consider these as follows, so far
     as they are relevant to the CPO, before concluding on this topic.
Flooding
127. There is no dispute that the proposed site is within the flood plain of the River Calder. It is
     at high risk of flooding [8, 101].
128. A Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) (CD12, CD20) has been produced which shows that,
     provided that: the proposed school is raised; a void is created under the school and a flood
     attenuation depression for accommodating flood water is provided; and emergency access
     provided, then the development should not lead to unacceptable flood risk for the school or
     an increase in flood risk for surrounding land or properties. Indeed, it is claimed by LCC
     that these measures may result in a slight improvement. This is a highly engineered
     solution, but I have no reason to believe that it would not be practicable [101].
129. I learned at the Inquiry that the FRA was based on a predictive model. No specific account
     had been taken of recent actual local flood events or their causes. This gives me some
     concern as, despite assurances from LCC, there is the possibility that insufficient account
     has been taken of flooding from groundwater as distinct from river flooding. I understand
     that all flooding of the area since 1980 has been due to groundwater; and I have some
    sympathy for those objectors who fear that the presence of groundwater flooding might
    reduce the effectiveness of the river flood attenuation works. However, I have no technical
    evidence to support such a contention. In any event, outline planning permission has been
    granted following consultation with the Environment Agency (EA), who, after considering
    the FRA, agreed in principle that the proposal was acceptable from the flooding aspect.
    Since then, I understand that the EA has now agreed all details relating to flooding matters
    with the exception of fencing of the site [33, 34, 35, 36, 43(h), 46(g) & (k), 49(c), 50(b), 52,
    58)d), 62(c), 70].
130. The conclusion on the outline application was reached having regard to the then current
     PPG25 Development and Flood Risk. That document has since been superseded by PPS25.
     There was some suggestion at the Inquiry that, had the application been measured against
     PPS25, the EA might have taken a different view. There is no firm evidence of this, and the
     fact remains that planning permission has been granted which took account of the risk of
     flooding. Moreover, the FRA is cautious in its approach in that it makes a 30% allowance
     for climate change, (a level above the PPS25 standard) together with an additional 600mm
     freeboard built in to the design. The outstanding matter of the fence, which could be an
     impediment to flood flow, is capable of solution, I believe. But even if the agreement of the
     EA cannot be obtained, LCC has the ability to use Permitted Development rights to erect
     fencing [71(i), 101, 103].
Visual impact
131. Towneley Park is, as many objectors say, an extremely attractive area of open space that
     links the town of Burnley to the countryside beyond. It is widely characterised as Burnley‟s
     “jewel in the crown”; and I am left in no doubt as to the strength of the local affection for it.
     It is well used and appreciated, not just by those living locally, but also by people from a
     wider area. Not only does it have intrinsic visual value, but it has a splendid setting. The
     views of the moors in the direction of Cliviger in one direction, and towards Pendle Hill in
     the other, are particularly noteworthy [8, 9, 10, 11, 35, 36, 37, 43(g), 46(j), 49(a), 50(e),
     54(a), 56(b), 58(c), 59(a), 60].
132. In my opinion, LCC have underestimated the visual impact of the proposed school and
     overestimated the positive aspects of its external design. It would, I believe, have a major
     effect on the character of its immediate surroundings. In particular, the boundary of the
     urban area would be extended, and the school building, raised on its mound significantly
     higher and more massive than the adjoining housing, would be a substantial feature, visible
     from a number of parts of the park, though not from the Hall. I note the support of CABE,
     but no-one from that organisation visited the site and so it could not assess the true likely
     impact. I place very little reliance on LCC‟s landscape assessment which, it was conceded
     in questioning, took no account of views from the adjoining primary and nursery school, or
     from public space off Darnley Street. It was, in my view, inadequate [93, 94].
133. On the other hand, I consider that many objectors equally overestimate the harmful effect of
     the development on the wider park. The proposed school site, including the Order Land,
     occupies probably the least attractive part of the Park. It is close to the developed area,
     mostly flat, and set out as playing fields. It is of little landscape value beyond its openness
     and the provision of a visual transition from the urban area to the semi-rural and rural land
     beyond. It is not within the Listed Park or Garden, and does not form part of the immediate
     setting of the Hall. English Heritage did not object to the outline planning application and
     only raised concerns about the fencing at the Reserved Matters stage. The Heritage Lottery
     Fund, which is financing substantial improvements to the Park, raised concerns about
     detailed matters, including the fence and lighting, but raised no objection in principle to the
     proposed school. Importantly, no substantial issue has been taken by objectors with the
     visual effect of the particular uses to which the Order Land itself would be put.
134. However, in this forum there is no benefit in analysing the merits of the competing
     arguments, since the matter of visual impact was considered both at the outline planning
     stage and later in the context of reserved matters and submission of details. While I share
    some of the misgivings of the objectors concerning the likely impact of the proposed school
    as a whole, that of the proposed development on the Order Land would not be substantial.
    It is entirely proper that LCC should take a balanced view on the subject. Planning
    permission has been granted and it is not for me to revisit the matter [33, 34, 70, 71].
Traffic & highways
135. The proposed school would be larger, and therefore would give rise to additional traffic
     compared to the present one. However, the traffic survey shows that the number of
     additional vehicles would not be great and there would be more parking spaces provided.
     Towneley Holmes Road is not heavily trafficked, and I would not expect the impact on flow
     or on vehicle or pedestrian safety to be substantial. Similarly, I would not expect any
     material conflict with the rights of way enjoyed by the occupiers of Towneley Farm,
     notwithstanding that traffic from the direction of the rural part of the catchment may well
     increase to some extent [65, 95, 96, 97].
136. The introduction of additional traffic from parents dropping off and picking up children in
     the vicinity of the pedestrian access ways to the proposed site would, however, have an
     impact on an area presently unaffected by Unity College. It is intended that signs deterring
     the use of Mary Towneley Fold for this purpose would be erected (condition 10 of the
     outline planning permission), but I would expect Morse Street and Darnley Street to be
     affected. These streets are already heavily used for parking in connection with the existing
     Brunshaw Primary School and Nursery. The tendency to use these streets would, I believe,
     be greater than estimated by LCC when considering the planning application because
     Towneley Homes Road has recently been declared a Clearway, so no stopping would be
     permitted near the main access to the school from that road [43(j), 46(h), 49(d), 50(g), 65,
     95, 96].
137. LCC‟s support for alternative forms of travel and other associated measures by means of a
     School Travel Plan (required by condition 12 of the outline planning permission) is to be
     applauded, but I consider it may be optimistic in its assumptions as to effectiveness. There
     would, I believe, be greater local congestion and possibly increased harm to interests of
     pedestrian safety as a consequence. That said, I doubt if the situation would be substantially
     different to that if the school were to remain on its present site. It would be the locality of
     the effect, rather than its nature, which would be different. [37, 43(j), 46(h), 49(d), 50(g),
     65, 95, 97].
138. Once again, while I share some of the concern of objectors about the introduction of
     additional traffic and congestion that may result from the new school, planning permission
     has been granted after taking these matters into account, and I have no reason to doubt the
     substantial conclusions reached by LCC regarding the acceptability of the likely effects.
     [33, 34, 70, 71].
Loss of recreational amenity
139. The objectors‟ arguments on this topic relate more to the loss of the larger area of land
     which would be used for the proposed school, of which the Order Land forms only a part.
     Substantially, it is therefore the loss of the use of that other land consequential upon the
     school proposal which is opposed rather than the loss of the Order Land alone [102].
140. I am in no doubt that the Towneley Playing Fields is an area of open space much valued for
     both formal and informal recreation. I have been given many examples of the uses to which
     it has been put, and I fully recognise how much they mean to the local and wider
     community. However, the Order Land is only a small part of the playing fields and a very
     much smaller part of the Park as a whole [43(g), 46(j), 49(a), 50(d), 54(a), 58(c), 59(a), 60].
141. So far as formal recreation on the Order Land is concerned, some of the potential
     recreational area would be lost to the flood attenuation depression and associated works.
     However, the intention is that games pitches would still be available for organised sporting
     events, together with access to changing and other facilities at the new school. There
    would, I believe, be an administrative charge for the use, but no profit would be made.
    When the Reserved Matters were considered [CD23], Sport England indicated that the
    balance of land retained in playing field use would be in accordance with its policy. On that
    basis, I consider that access to formal use of the playing fields will remain broadly as it is at
    present or, having regard to the new facilities, could improve [18, 31(d), 102].
142. But if the school site, including the playing fields, or most of this land, is fenced as seems
     highly likely for security, health and safety and insurance purposes, then it would not be
     available for informal recreation as is the case at present. Even taking into account the
     provision of land in exchange for the Order Land (which I consider later) there would, I
     believe, be a loss to the local population. But it appears to me that, under any scenario that
     retained the playing fields as a school facility, irrespective of the precise location of the
     school, the effect would be the same. In my view, and in the context of the intention to
     provide Exchange Land and the availability of other land within the Park, the loss of the
     Order Land would have a negligible effect on the availability of land to the public for
     recreation [104, 105].
143. The effect of the loss of the wider site for informal recreation was taken account of when
     LCC considered the outline planning application [CD17], and was deemed acceptable. [33,
     34, 70, 71].
Wildlife
144. There is no dispute that the area in the vicinity of the Order Land and the proposed school
     site has wildlife interest. However, LCC‟s wildlife survey shows that the main areas of
     interest, for example the adjoining area frequented by reed buntings, would be unaffected
     directly by the development. There is the possibility that building works could adversely
     affect some species in the short term, through disturbance, but mitigation measures would
     be put in place to minimise this, and there is no evidence that there would be any long-term
     harm to habitat. Though the intensity of the use of some areas may experience greater
     disturbance from the proposed school, the locality is already heavily used for recreation. I
     would not therefore expect the impact on wildlife to materially greater [46(i), 49(b), 50(c),
     60].
145. The effect of the use of the Order Land and the wider site on nature conservation interests
     was taken account of when LCC considered the outline planning application CD17], and
     was deemed acceptable. No observations were received from Natural England in relation to
     the submission of Reserved Matters [CD23] [33, 34, 70, 71].
Planning Policy
146. When LCC considered the outline planning application for the replacement school [CD17],
     it identified the relevant national, regional and local planning policies and acknowledged
     that a number would breached. However, it concluded, on balance, that the benefits of the
     proposal outweighed the conflict with the development plan. That decision was taken in the
     knowledge that the Secretary of State had declined the opportunity to call-in the application
     for her own determination. It was a decision that LCC were entitled to take, and was taken
     openly after undertaking wide consultation, both with public bodies and the local
     population. I have already considered a number of the planning matters raised so far as they
     have a bearing on the CPO. I do not propose to re-open discussion on them in the planning
     policy context, as I am satisfied that this has been properly addressed in the correct forum.
     [33, 34, 43(i), 46(e), 70, 71].
Proposed site – summary conclusions
147. I conclude that the interests of individuals or the public generally would be affected to some
     degree by the acquisition of the Order Land or the development of the proposed school site
     on which the acquisition is based, by reason of the effect on flooding, visual impact, traffic
     and highways, loss of recreational land or wildlife. But mostly these effects are minor and
     related not to the loss of the Order Land, but to the wider school site. In large measure,
    therefore, they are at best of marginal relevance to the CPO. Moreover, these matters have
    already been considered in the context of the grant of planning permission and been found
    not to outweigh the educational and community benefits which would derive from the new
    school. While I appreciate the strongly-felt opinions of a number of the objectors, I have
    heard nothing relevant to the CPO that leads me to conclude differently.
148. I conclude that there would be no substantial effect on the interests of individuals or groups,
     such that it would outweigh the acknowledged need for the replacement school, for which
     the Order Land is required.
Other options considered
149. In seeking to provide a new Unity College, LCC undertook option appraisals in line with
     the Treasury Green Book. A number of solutions were considered, including do nothing;
     do minimum; refurbish & extend; and new build. I review these briefly, as follows [31,
     32, 82].
Option 1 – Do nothing
150. Doing nothing would fail to address the clear educational and social need for action, and
     would fail to take advantage of Government funding made available to address these very
     issues. There is no support for this option from the objectors; and I conclude that LCC were
     entirely correct to reject it [82].
Option 2 – Do minimum (Refurbishment)
151. The existing school was built during the early part of the Second World War in a utilitarian
     style, and reflecting the teaching methods and technologies of the time. It has been re-
     roofed, and the fabric is still moderately robust. There are some more modern buildings,
     notably the sports hall and the CLC, but most is in need of modernisation and upgrading to
     meet current requirements. LCC has estimated that it would cost in the region of £2.87
     million to put the buildings into a good state of repair. This is considerably less than the
     cost of building a completely new school, as proposed [35, 36, 38, 78, 80].
152. However, from my site inspection I have formed the view that the inadequacies of the
     buildings could not be wholly or mainly rectified by refurbishment alone. Many of the
     rooms are below modern size standards. They are inflexible, placing constraints on the
     ability of the staff and pupils to engage in modern teaching and learning methods. The
     circulation spaces, notably the corridors and stairwells, are narrow, uninviting and difficult
     to supervise. Access for disabled people is inadequate and does not meet the requirements
     of the Disability Discrimination Act. The layout is poor, leading to some areas being over-
     used, and others, including some outside space, incapable of use. 6 classrooms are in
     mobile units, providing a particularly poor learning environment for younger pupils. Once
     the parking and servicing areas are discounted, the amount of outside play / socialising
     space is limited in both quantity and quality. In short, the school as it stands is far from
     ideal. While it would doubtless be possible to improve it to some extent and to upgrade
     certain of its facilities, without radical change it would still suffer from the inadequacies of
     layout [80].
153. Substantial refurbishment would involve major disruption to the life of the school and the
     education of the children without any major gain. This would almost certainly involve at
     least partial “decanting” of the pupils to temporary accommodation for the duration of the
     works. Some temporary decanting locations have been suggested, including other
     educational establishments affected by the BSF programme. I do not doubt that some
     alternative accommodation, of some kind, could have been found but I heard no conclusive
     evidence on whether any of the suggested locations are suitable in terms of size and type of
     accommodation. In any event all suffer from the disadvantages of not being available at the
     right time relative to the BSF First Wave timescale, or inconveniently located relative to the
     catchment [31(a), 43(e) & (f), 50(i), 52, 88].
154. Avoidance of disruption to education during construction was one of the criteria identified
     by LCC in seeking a site for the school. It is in my view an important factor. I regard
     decanting of the school to be wholly undesirable and something to be avoided unless
     absolutely necessary. It seems to me that placing pupils in temporary and possibly
     unsuitable or inconvenient accommodation would militate against the intention of the BSF
     programme to provide significantly enhanced education for local children, and thereby
     compromise the basis of the educational reorganisation.
155. Moreover, I believe that a refurbished school would fail to achieve parity of esteem with the
     other new schools in Burnley that would be built as part of the BSF initiative, again
     militating against the objective of improving the education of all children in the town [15,
     23, 36].
156. I am firmly of the opinion, shared by the great majority of the objectors, that such a “do-
     minimum” option is not the appropriate way forward and has been rightly discounted by
     LCC.
Option 3(a) Refurbish and extend - existing site
157. This option takes the process one stage further, involving keeping the best of the school
    buildings, carrying out refurbishment of those parts which are capable of being improved to
    modern standards, but also selective demolition and rebuilding. LCC estimates an
    implementation cost in the region of £11million, again substantially less than the cost of the
    proposed new school [43(c) & (e), 46(c), 49(e), 50(i), 54(b), 85].
158. LCC‟s rejection of this option is principally based on the inadequacy of the size of the site,
     which, at 2.82ha, is very substantially less than the 7.8ha estimated using the DfES (as was)
     guidelines. However, as some objectors pointed out, that area includes playing fields which
     would account for 4.675ha under the guidelines. If the playing fields were to be provided
     on Towneley Fields, as at present, then the land required for the school site would be just
     3.125ha. That figure includes hard surfaced games courts (0.27ha) and a habitat area
     (0.125ha). If those too were to be located on Towneley Fields, the area required would be
     just a little less than the present site [31(b) & (c), 43(e), 85].
159. I consider the detached playing field issue below under option 3(b), where I conclude that it
     need not be an overriding matter. Notwithstanding that, the size of the present site would be
     only just sufficient in principle to accommodate a re-furbished / rebuilt school. Taking
     account of the constraints to design and layout resulting from shape, slope, the need for
     access, and the desirability of retaining the newer buildings, it is highly unlikely that it
     would in practice be sufficient. It would certainly not provide any scope for expansion in
     the future. The option also suffers from the same disadvantages of disruption as Option 2
     but, as works would be more extensive, the period of “decanting” would be likely to be
     longer and affect more of the pupils.
160. On that basis, I conclude that LCC was correct to reject the option of refurbishing and
     extending on the existing site.
Option 3(b) Refurbish and extend existing site and adjoining land
161. As a number of objectors observed, there is land adjoining which could in theory be
     incorporated into the site, and which would provide a site of sufficient size. The land in
     question comprises the present all-weather games pitch, owned by the Borough Council, but
     extensively used by the school, together with an open area to its rear. At the Inquiry, LCC
     conceded that the extended site would be of sufficient size to accommodate the school other
     than the playing fields. In my view there would be enough land to create the desirable
     external dining areas, grass amphitheatre (taking advantage of the natural slope), play areas
     and special areas for the youngest pupils, in an attractive external environment [46(d), 54(c)
     58(e), 62(b), 86].
162. Evidence concerning the extent to which LCC considered expanding the school site into this
     additional land is somewhat uncertain. I heard that the option was never pursued because it
     had not been suggested or because Burnley BC did not offer the land. But I note from LCC
     minutes [in CD43] that as late as August 2005 the use of adjoining land had been mooted.
     At that time, LCC agreed at officer level to look into the possibility of using Burnley BC
     land which is now part of the golf course. That was swiftly rejected in view of the effect on
     the golf course, on the adjacent housing and on a water main that crosses the land. There
     appears to be some confusion here. The golf course does not adjoin the school site, but the
     open land suggested by objectors does have a large water main passing through it, so it
     would seem that this was probably the land in question. However, the reasons for rejection
     look insubstantial. First, its use would not affect the golf course. Second, although the
     water main would be affected, I know of no investigation into the practicality or cost of its
     diversion. The preferred site also requires very substantial engineering works but, in
     contrast, these were not considered fatal to that scheme. Third, the effect on the houses
     would depend to a large extent on the design and layout but, as none had been drawn up, it
     could not be assessed. This was confirmed by LCC‟s landscape witness, who stated that she
     had not considered the visual impact of a rebuilt school [86].
163. In the event, LCC asked Burnley BC for a formal written offer with regard to the option (of
     land being made available), but none was forthcoming. As it would have been possible for
     LCC to have resorted to CPO powers (as indeed it has had to do), the lack of compliance
     from Burnley BC should not have ruled the option out. However, Burnley BC officers
     agreed that it was probably not viable, and this may have contributed to LCC‟s decision not
     to pursue the option further.
164. Against that background, I cannot conclude with certainty that the option of rebuilding and
     refurbishing the school on the extended site was investigated with the appropriate degree of
     rigour. This I consider unfortunate, not least because, from the evidence submitted, this
     option offers several advantages over the proposed site. In particular:
    (a) It would be possible to retain the modern sports hall and the nearly-new CLC building
        within a new layout, thereby introducing cost savings within the overall budget [49(e),
        54(b), 58(e)].
    (b) In the main, it would use previously-developed land, in line with national planning
        guidance for sustainable development. As a consequence, the built area of the town
        would not be extended substantially into open land [43(i), 54(d)].
    (c) The annual flood risk, at 1:100 for part of the site [fig 4.2 in Proof of Ruth Goodall], is
        considerably less than that on the whole of the proposed site of the school buildings,
        which is within the 1 in 20 year flood extent area. There is no reason I know of why
        flood attenuation measures, if required, could not be incorporated into the building
        design [46(g)].
    (d) There would be significantly fewer engineering works required, in particular:
           As services are already on site, there would be no need for new lengthy service runs
           [50(h)].
          As the site has road frontages to Towneley Holmes Road and Woodgrove Road,
           there would be no need for a long access road or an emergency flood access.
          There would be no need for a new bridge over the river or a consequential river
           diversion [46(f)].
          Flood attenuation measures, which for the proposed school would require raising the
           buildings on special foundations to create a void, and the creation of a flood
           alleviation depression & bund would not need to be as complex [46(f)].
          There would be no need to restore the existing school site in order to provide
           Exchange Land, with associated financial savings
    (e) As a result of requiring fewer engineering works, the sustainability of the proposal in
        terms of carbon emissions and waste disposal would be enhanced [50(h)].
    (f) Costings for this option are not available. Nonetheless, even taking into account
        additional costs such as relocating the all-weather pitch and dealing with infrastructure
        such as the main water pipe that crosses the land, I would expect the cost to be
        substantially less than that of moving to the proposed site.
165. Set against these advantages would be the fact that an expanded school would have a visual
     impact on the entrance to the Park and on the residents of Woodgrove Road, which is in a
     conservation area. The entrance to the Park creates the first impression for many visitors,
     and the gatehouse is itself Listed. It is clearly an important consideration. The outlook of
     some local residents might be affected, as might the character or appearance of the
     conservation area. However, LCC make great play of the quality of the proposed school
     design and how it would enhance the area, notwithstanding its open location on the urban
     fringe. If comparable care were to be taken in the design of a new school on the existing /
     expanded site, then I suggest that it could be incorporated equally satisfactorily into its
     setting. At the very least, I am certain it would be possible to improve on the present
     situation. I accord little weight to this argument [93].
166. I acknowledge that having detached playing fields would be a less than ideal solution for
     both the school and for community users. But it is not a statutory requirement for them to be
     on a single site. Indeed, I learned that, in Nelson, a school is currently proposed with its
     playing fields separated by a road and railway, involving the use of an underpass for access.
     Less than ideal solutions can therefore be regarded as acceptable in some circumstances
     [43(e), 46(d)].
167. Time would be wasted by staff and pupils moving between the school and the playing
     fields. But I consider that the potential difficulties have been over-estimated by LCC. From
     the nearest school entrance to the present footbridge over the river which gives access to the
     playing fields is only in the region of 300 metres, no more than a few minutes walk. That is
     not significantly greater than the distance between the main entrance to the proposed school
     buildings and the centre of the proposed rugby pitch and field sports area. It is a distance
     easily within the capability of even younger children. Naturally, some of the playing fields
     would be further away but, from my own site visit, I know it to be possible to walk from the
     present school site to the proposed site in about 5 minutes [54(c), 86]. .
168. Towneley Holmes Road would have to be crossed to access the playing fields. There are
     road safety implications in this, but the road is not busy and there are footpaths. It is subject
     to a 20mph speed limit, and I see no reason why additional road safety measures should not
     be implemented, including the provision of a crossing, if necessary. It is a Clearway, so
     visibility would not be obscured by parked cars. Neither LCC nor any local resident at the
     Inquiry could recall an accident in the road involving school children. I do not consider the
     need to cross the road to be a reason to reject the redevelopment of the existing site [43(e),
     86].
169. I acknowledge that there could be security implications of having the playing fields
     detached. But any need to fence the land would be no different to LCC‟s preferred option.
     Taken overall, I do not consider that having detached playing fields is sufficient reason
     alone to dismiss the option of redevelopment of the existing site, but I acknowledge that
     having a single site would be convenient and offer advantages over the split site solution.
170. LCC argued in evidence that opportunities for community use would be reduced under a
     refurbish and rebuild option. Certainly the school would be further away from the
     Brunshaw Estate and Brunshaw Primary School; and that may well deter some aspects of
     dual use. But, by the same token, it would be closer to the Burnley Wood area and the St
     Stephen‟s Primary School in Woodgrove Road. The school facilities, wherever located,
    would never be equally convenient to all. I see no particular advantage or disadvantage
    between the 2 sites in this regard.
Alternative sites
171. As part of the preparation of the Outline Business Case, County and Borough officers
     explored options for alternative sites, with a site requirement of 7.03ha - 8.12ha. That
     clearly assumed that playing fields would be attached – thereby introducing a criterion that
     effectively took priority over all others. For the reasons I give above, I consider that placed
     undue weight on the requirement.
172. The only alternative site put forward at the Inquiry was one within the Housing Market
     Renewal Area at Burnley Wood. I am satisfied that, at least in terms of the catchment, that
     locality would be acceptable. The principle is at first sight attractive. The concept of siting
     the new school in an area designated for major change, and possibly integrated with new
     social and economic infrastructure, has the potential to create a mutually beneficial scheme
     for both urban regeneration and educational reorganisation, thereby co-ordinating 2
     important strands of Government and local policy. Moreover, it would have a number of
     policy and practical advantages over the proposed site. It would be on previously developed
     land, thereby avoiding extending the urban area; and it would not be at risk of flooding.
     These are important considerations [43(d), 56(a), 62(b)].
173. LCC say that the option was considered, but it is unclear to me how detailed the
     consideration was. Certainly, discussions took place with Burnley BC and the regeneration
     agency (Elevate), but no sites of the necessary size could be assembled within realistic
     timescales and budgets, and so the option was not pursued. I do not have details of these
     discussions, so I cannot say with what vigour the option was pursued. In any event, no
     particular site at Burnley Wood was brought to my attention by the objectors. Only an area
     of search was identified, but in the absence of any detailed evidence, I cannot tell whether it
     might represent a practical proposition. Having viewed the area, which has been partly
     redeveloped and partly subject to “facelifting” of properties, it seems to me unlikely. Had a
     suitable site been available which would have made a contribution to the objectives of the
     regeneration area, I would have expected representations along those lines to have been
     made by the Borough Council or Elevate, but it is telling that neither has sought to influence
     the Inquiry. At this late stage, the opportunity to integrate a new school into other
     programmes for the locality, if it ever existed, has almost certainly been lost [89].
174. From the evidence available at the Inquiry, I conclude that there are no obvious alternative
     sites for the school other than that proposed and the existing site together with adjoining
     land.
Funding and timing
175. I am satisfied that funding is in place for the proposed school, principally through the BFS
     initiative. Additional funding has been identified to meet improvements to the highways
     infrastructure and to acquire the Order Land. However, BFS funding is available according
     to a timetable which requires the school to be operational by September 2010. A delay in
     proceeding with the project, for example if the CPO were not to be confirmed, could result
     in the loss of that finance. It is possible that an application for funding under the second
     Wave could be successful, but it cannot be guaranteed. Any delay would involve LCC in
     additional cost, which could be considerable [27, 28, 29, 92].
Consultation and the Decision making process
176. A number of objectors allege or suggest defects in the nature of the public consultation
     carried out by LCC with respect to the siting of the proposed school, and the way in which
     associated decisions have been made. In particular, it is suggested that, had the consultation
     process been more effective, or if it had taken place earlier, then a superior alternative site
     could have been found. There is a widespread feeling amongst objectors that LCC
     determined early on in the process to proceed with the proposed site, possibly because, as a
    greenfield site, it was perceived as the “easy option”. Consequently other alternatives had
    little chance of being chosen [43(a), 46(a), 49(e), 50(a), 54(d)].
177. I have already commented on the approach of LCC to the option of rebuilding on the
     existing site together with adjoining land. It seems to me that it was not pursued with as
     much rigour as it might have been. I have formed the impression from some parts of the
     evidence that LCC has sought to play up the disadvantages of the alternative while
     minimising those of the preferred option. Here are a few examples. The sustainability
     benefits of the latter are claimed by reference to “green” power generation etc., but
     reference to the environmental consequences in terms of carbon release from the very
     substantial engineering works required is omitted. Similarly, the presence of a water main
     is cited as a reason not to pursue the alternative, when large scale and presumably expensive
     engineering works were not seen as any barrier to development of the preferred site. On the
     basis of what I consider to be a flawed landscape assessment, LCC claim that the preferred
     site would not have a substantial visual impact. On the other hand, it claims an adverse
     effect for the alternative without any formal assessment at all. This is at best an inconsistent
     approach and, as I have said, I consider it unfortunate. I do not find it entirely surprising
     that some objectors have gained the impression that LCC has not always taken an entirely
     objective view on the choice of site.
178. Notwithstanding those misgivings, there is no doubt that LCC has engaged with the local
     population with respect to its educational reorganisation and the choice of site. Our Vision
     for Education in Burnley [CD4] and the school-based public meetings that flowed from it
     are the prime examples. Amongst the questions in that document is: what are your views
     on our proposals to locate the new schools in the areas indicated, using existing school sites
     if alternative sites are not available? For the South-East, the possible location was
     described as the Towneley Area. By October 2004, officers were proposing the option of
     new school premises on the playing fields, and the following month the proposals were
     published [CD39]. I understand from the evidence of Janet Newton (para 2.24) that just 3
     objections to the siting of a new school on the Towneley playing fields were received. I
     find it entirely understandable that LCC should then proceed on the basis of that option.
     But even then, there is some evidence, to which I have referred, that indicates that the
     alternative was still being investigated as late as August 2005. That does not suggest to me
     that LCC was proceeding with a closed mind [74, 75, 76, 77].
179. I conclude that LCC reached its decision about the choice of site in an open manner, taking
     account of a range of entirely reasonable criteria, the views of public bodies and the local
     population. Many objectors disagree with the decision and are understandably disappointed
     that their view has not prevailed. But that does not invalidate the process by which the
     decision was reached [82].
180. The outline planning application was submitted in November 2005 [CD11]. That provided
     a further opportunity for public participation in the decision-making process. The majority
     of the objections to the CPO relate to matters addressed at that time or in the context of the
     subsequent submissions. From the information before me, I have no reason to suppose that
     the planning issues were addressed in anything other than a proper manner. As indicated
     above, it is not the purpose of the CPO process to re-open those matters.
Human Rights
181. A number of objections refer to the effect of the CPO on Human Rights. From the
     evidence, I am satisfied that, although the acquisition of the Order Land would cause some
     adverse effects on the public, none of whom are qualifying objectors, it would be limited.
     To the extent that there would be some interference with the Human Rights of any
     individual or group, I am satisfied that it is outweighed by the overall public benefit that
     would accrue from the acquisition of the land and the wider development of the school to
     which it would contribute. I have therefore reached the view that the CPO would be a
     proportionate response, bearing in mind the educational and community benefits in the
    public interest that would result from the acquisition of the land for the stated purposes
    [43(c)].
Overall Conclusion – CPO
182. I have concluded that the CPO meets the requirements of the enabling legislation. There is
     a compelling need in the public interest for the site to be compulsorily purchased. The CPO
     should therefore be confirmed.
RECOMMENDATION
183. I recommend that the Lancashire County Council (Land off Towneley Holmes Road,
     Burnley) Compulsory Purchase Order 2006 be confirmed.
                                                *****
CONCLUSIONS – THE SECTION 19 CERTIFICATE
Introduction
184. The issue identified by LCC in this case is correct so far as it goes, but is incomplete.
     Under Section 19(1)(a), the Certificate should indicate the Secretary of State‟s satisfaction
     that the Exchange Land is no less in area and equally advantageous to the public as the land
     being taken; and further, that the land will be vested in the persons (in this case Burnley
     BC) in whom the land purchased was vested, and subject to like rights and so forth. These
     are the tests I will apply in considering the application [110].
185. ODPM Circular 06/2004 (para 26) says that „the public‟ means principally the section of the
     public which has hitherto benefited from the Order Land and, more generally, the public at
     large. Following the advice of the Circular, and having regard to the evidence presented at
     the Inquiry which showed clearly that Towneley Park is a resource enjoyed widely by the
     people of Burnley, I take the view that “the public” in this case comprises not only those
     who live close to the Order Land (ie residents of Fulledge and Brunshaw) but also a wider
     cross-section of the public in and around the town who may use the Order Land and the
     surrounding parts of Towneley Park.
186. There is no dispute that the land to be taken (plots 1, 2, 3 & 4) is open space for the
     purposes of the Act. Their present use is as part of playing fields or land available to the
     public for informal games and recreation [106].
Test 1 - Area
187. Some of the objectors appear to believe that the land to be taken comprises the whole of the
     site of the proposed new school, including the playing fields, estimated as being over 15ha
     in area. But that is not the case. The land to be taken comprises only plots 1, 2, 3 & 4,
     which have a combined area of 2.8193ha (plot 1 - 1.6594ha; plot 2 - 0.7725ha; plot 3 -
     0.2303ha; & plot 4 - 4 0.571ha). This compares to the Exchange Land, which has an area of
     2.82ha. There is no doubt that the latter is no less in area than the former, and the first of
     the tests is therefore met [108, 110, 112(b), 114].
Test 2 – Equal advantage
188. Under the terms of the Order the Exchange Land would be cleared and re-levelled. The
     demolition of the school and the restoration of the site to parkland is assured through the
     planning permission [109].
189. Some of the Exchange Land slopes, making it unsuitable for ball games but, taken as a
     whole, I see no reason why, transformed to parkland, it should be of any less value for sport
     and recreation than the land to be taken. Indeed, as it is in a single parcel, it must possess
     greater potential for beneficial use than the discontinuous areas of the land to be taken.
     Only a proportion of it is at risk of flooding, and that risk is considerably lower (at 1:100)
    than that experienced by the land to be taken. In that respect, its potential for beneficial use
    is also greater [102, 113, 114].
190. Following the advice of the Circular, the Order Land need not be replaced by land in the
     immediate area, particularly when it serves a broader catchment, as in this case. But in any
     event the Exchange Land is in the same general locality as the land to be taken, such that it
     would still be fairly conveniently located for use by the residents of Fulledge and Brunshaw.
     For users travelling from further afield, it is arguably more conveniently located because of
     its proximity to the main Todmorden Road, and with road frontages to Towneley Holmes
     Road and Woodgrove Road, it would be closer to Burnley Wood. I conclude that, taken
     overall, there would be no locational disadvantage [112(e)].
191. It is true that the Exchange Land does not provide comparable views of the surrounding
     countryside. But there is no reason why the quality of the recreational experience should
     necessarily be worse. It could still offer a very pleasant environment within the Park, albeit
     different in character. It would be possible to obtain views of the moors and of Pendle Hill,
     from other parts of the Park. [112(d)].
192. Many objectors argue that the Exchange Land is not equally advantageous when compared
     to the whole of the new school site including playing fields. But, as with the question of its
     area, that is mistaken. Alternatively, the argument appears to run that taking the Order Land
     would enable the remainder of the land to be developed as a school, leading to a much
     greater loss of land available to the public. But this is not to compare like with like, and is
     misconceived [102, 112(a), 114].
193. But even if the argument were sound, it is without merit. I acknowledge that, if the
     proposed school were not to be built, its site would remain undeveloped, and the land for
     the flood attenuation depression would not be required. But that is not the same as
     maintaining the status quo so far as public access is concerned. If the school were to be
     rebuilt on its present site and adjoining land (the most likely alternative scenario), there is
     every chance that LCC would seek to fence at least part of the playing fields for security or
     other reasons. Indeed, I have no evidence to suggest it could not do so at present.
     Moreover, while access for informal recreation would be reduced under the proposals, there
     would still be provision for public team games on the playing pitches under the
     arrangements with LCC‟s partnership agreement. Indeed, as school facilities, including
     changing rooms, would be made available in those circumstances, the quality of the
     provision for formal recreation could improve.
194. The other arguments put forward by the objectors for example, the visual impact of the
     school, are not relevant to the S19 Certificate. I deal with them under my consideration of
     the CPO [105].
195. The Circular advises that, in comparing Exchange Land to the land to be taken, it is not
     essential for the former to have the same character and features as the Order Land, or to
     offer the same advantages. The test is whether the advantages offered are sufficient to
     provide an overall equality of advantage. To my mind, that would be the case.
196. I conclude that the Exchange Land would be equally advantageous to the public as the land
     being taken. The second test is therefore met.
Vesting
197. The CPO would vest the Exchange Land in Burnley BC, subject to the like rights, trusts and
     incidents as attached to the Order Land immediately before vesting in the acquiring
     Authority. The third test is therefore met.
Summary Conclusion
198. All three tests are met, and consequently I conclude that, subject to the confirmation of the
     CPO, the Section 19 Certificate may be given.
RECOMMENDATION
199. I recommend that a Certificate under Section 19 of the Acquisition of Land Act 1981 be
     given with respect to land proposed to be provided in exchange for land to be acquired
     pursuant to the Lancashire County Council (Land off Towneley Holmes Road, Burnley)
     Compulsory Purchase Order 2006, subject to that Order first being confirmed.
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Description: Compulsory Purchase Darlington document sample