Ayr Harbour Trustees v Oswald (1883)

Trustees
were concerned with management of harbour and were empowered by statute to
compulsorily purchase certain lands to carry out specified works.
They
compulsorily acquired part of Oswald’s land.
Covenanted
that they would allow access from remaining land to harbour, thereby reducing
amount of compensation they would have to pay.
House
of Lords held covenant could not stand.
Where
legislature had conferred powers to take land compulsorily, contract purporting
to bind them not to use these powers was void.
But
their Lordships did not speak in terms of compatibility – stricter test was
used.