Before the mediation takes place, Members inspect the land. You and the other party do not have to be at the inspection. The Members use the site inspection, materials and mediation to try to assist the parties to negotiate a settlement.
Prior to Mediation
With respect to additional materials relied upon at the mediation, these can be subsequently provided to the BON, at least 20 days before the mediation date.
Just prior to the mediation date, the BON will request a list of attendees from both parties.
During the Mediation
At the beginning of the mediation, the Members will review the mediation process that they will follow that day. The BON’s mandate is to assist the parties to successfully negotiate a settlement of the compensation for the claim by an informal process.
The panel will:
- Confirm that everyone has the same reports and ask if there are any more materials that are to be referred to.
- Ask if there have been any discussions between the parties since the materials were first provided to the BON.
- Ask what amounts have been offered to date for discussion.
During the mediation, both sides will be given the opportunity to present the compensation claim and the reasons for the dispute, the facts they agree on, and any areas and opinions where the experts agree and disagree.
After hearing from each of the parties, the Members will meet with each side alone to discuss the opportunities to settle. The Members may reconvene with both parties together to discuss areas of agreement and perhaps negotiate further.
If no settlement has been agreed to at the end of the mediation, the Members may make a recommendation which is not binding on the parties. If there is no settlement at the mediation, and the parties would like to reconvene to discuss any unresolved issues, the BON may set up another mediation with the parties to try again.
After Your Mediation
If the parties settle their disagreement based on a recommendation, the parties do not have to inform the BON. The BON does not draft minutes of settlement or provide a binding order.
If no settlement is reached during the BON process, either party may file an appeal with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) or through civil proceedings. Mediations are without prejudice, and any efforts to settle are confidential. This means that if the parties are unable to reach a settlement, then a position or statement presented at the BON negotiation cannot be raised against that party in a subsequent proceeding or hearing at the LPAT.