James Goudie KC and Ben Mitchell appear successfully for Council in R (Cilldara) v West Northants Council on local authority land disposals


On 5 July 2023, the High Court (Steyn J) gave judgment in R (Cilldara Group Holdings Ltd) v West Northamptonshire Council. This is an important judgment on local authority land disposals covered by s.123 of the Local Government Act 1972, which prohibits a disposal for ‘a consideration less than the best that can reasonably be obtained’.

James Goudie KC and Ben Mitchell appeared successfully for the Council. 

The case concerned the sale by the Council of a plot of land adjacent to the Sixfields Stadium, the home of Northampton Town Football Club. Both the owner of the club and a rival developer (the Claimant) bid for the land. The Claimant’s offer had been about £1 million more for the land than the successful bidder, but nonetheless its claim that the Council had failed to obtain ‘best consideration’ by choosing the lower offer failed. The key issue was the Council’s assessment that the Claimant’s offer was not credible and reliable. 

James and Ben will discuss the case and other s.123 cases, their significance and wider implications for local authorities at a webinar on 11 July, details for which are available here.