Montagu Evans were initially instructed to assist the parliamentary process required to promote and ultimately secure the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Act 1996.
Subsequently, the firm was instructed to manage and undertake all property and land acquisitions under compulsory purchase within the St. Pancras Terminus area.
Montagu Evans were instructed on account of the firm's substantial experience with rail infrastructure and transport schemes. This was coupled with the firm's reputation for providing partner facing advice consistently over lengthy periods of time.
Montagu Evans worked in tandem with the property team at Union Railways on a day to day basis over a ten year period and secured the acquisition of over a 150 separate land interests within the Terminus area. The acquisitions were secured on time and without recourse to forcible possessions and the potential for adverse media attention.
The list of diverse land and property that needed to be bought up or temporarily acquired included open sites, railway arches, retail outlets, a hotel, residential flats, a church and land belonging to British Waterways. There were significant challenges in acquiring some of these sites.
For this project of national interest, Montagu Evans were instructed to undertake the following:
- Provision of evidence before Parliamentary Select Committee
- Negotiating Petitions
- Managing the possession process of c. 150 interests
- Carrying out extensive consultation with affected parties
- Providing a comprehensive Property Cost Estimate & regular updates
- Negotiating compensation claims
- Acting as Expert Witness in mediation
- Acting as Expert Witness at Upper Chamber (Lands Tribunal)
Thanks to extensive consultation and negotiation with affected parties, we were able to acquire all 150 sites without having to resort to forcible entry. This avoided adverse public or media attention.