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A compulsory purchase order (CPO) is a powerful tool used by public authorities to acquire land without requiring the owner’s consent. Land acquired through CPOs can be anything from houses and other buildings, to property boundaries or even full plots of land itself. Companies with heavy-handed responsibilities such as electricity and water providers also fall under this umbrella – giving them expansive capabilities when it comes time for acquisition purposes.

Compulsory Purchase Orders allow public entities such as electricity and water providers to acquire land, buildings or any other structures without the consent of their owners. This is a commonly used tool which grants much-needed power when projects with larger-scale objectives need execution in order to serve the greater good.

When a public authority is in need of land for the purpose of their duties, they may choose to use a Compulsory Purchase Order. Without having to gain consent from any owners, this means that not only can areas such as fields and plots be acquired but also buildings too. This could include housing or other structures owned by individuals or organizations like electricity or water providers.

What is a Compulsory Purchase Order and who can get one on my home?

Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) are a great power for public bodies to acquire land, should it be needed as part of infrastructure or regeneration projects. For example, Heathrow’s Development Consent Order and High-Speed Two’s Hybrid Order both serve the purpose of acquiring Compulsory Purchasing powers – yet crucially don’t force homeowners out against their will; this is simply an application process whereby authorities apply to government departments in order to gain potential access rights if required. Successful applications can take anywhere from months up to years depending on subsequent actions taken by the affected parties involved.

What does “compelling case in the public interest” mean?

Ensuring a prosperous, healthy and vibrant area requires strategic planning that tackles community needs while striking the right balance with economic development. To make this happen in practice, the acquiring authority must pass an important three-point test: meeting goals for local economic wellbeing; considering environmental impacts such as air quality and biodiversity; plus assessing social factors like access to education or green spaces. The greater public good could mean everything from upgraded roads to new shopping centres – but also preserving historic buildings or protecting residents from dangerous conditions at home.

Examples of circumstances in a CPO can be used include:

Major infrastructure works, from airport expansions to housing developments and flood defences are ongoing throughout the country. Simultaneously, essential services like electrification projects, water distribution lines or transport upgrades continue to make life easier for millions of people daily. Finally crucial regeneration initiatives such as eradicating run-down parts of cities create better environments in which we can thrive together.

Major building projects such as airport expansions, housing developments and flood defence works are just the beginning: vital services like electric pylons, water mains or road/rail improvements can be added; even bad housing areas have a chance at being clear.

Statutory powers to make a compulsory purchase

Statutory powers for compulsory land acquisition may be found in multiple sources, such as the Compulsory Purchase Act 1965 and the Housing and Planning Act 2016. Once these have been identified, CPOs must then adhere to certain procedures within each act before they can be enforced.

Consequences of CPO

When a Compulsory Purchase Order has been formally proposed, the affected landowner is entitled to have their objection heard and considered at an independent public inquiry. If it is decided that a CPO should proceed then they are compensated for the value of their asset.

What Does It Mean to Get Served With a CPO?

Owning private property is a privilege, but if you receive a CPO it may mean that an acquiring authority wants to purchase your land or have some other interest in it. The resulting process can span months, even years – and could be withdrawn at any time. It’s important for all stakeholders involved to engage early on by considering their options and lodging objections where appropriate; this way, changes can potentially be negotiated before anything becomes finalised.

Private property owners don’t always have to sell when a CPO is issued. This indication of interest by an acquiring authority may take lengthy periods to come into effect, if at all – and those affected can act in their own interests during this time. Knowing the power dynamics prior to engaging with any prospective parties yields maximum benefit for impacted individuals; make sure you’re up on your rights before making negotiations or objections.

Steps to making a compulsory purchase order

To take possession of property from other people, the acquiring authority must go through a rigorous process. This includes gathering enough facts and evidence to create what is known as a “Compulsory Purchase Order” (CPO) in accordance with section 2 of the Acquisition of Land Act 1981. It’s only once this has been fulfilled that rights can be exercised over another person’s land.

Requisition for information form

Failing to respond properly or making incorrect statements in response to a ‘Requisition for information form’ from an acquiring authority could have serious consequences. Ignoring the document won’t prevent proceedings from continuing, so it’s important that owners and occupiers of relevant properties provide accurate details when requested.

Right to enter the land

In order to determine its ability to acquire land using compulsory purchase powers, an acquiring authority now has the new power of entry for survey and valuation purposes as of July 13 2016. This means it can gain important insight into prospective sites before proceeding with a CPO transaction.

Publicising the CPO

The Acquisition of Land Act 1981 outlines that a local authority must publicly advertise any proposed Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) through the publication of notices in newspapers, as well as on or near affected land. This notice is also extended to all qualifying persons – those with ownership rights over land which may be reduced if they are included in the CPO and not just acquired outright.

The Acquisition of Land Act 1981 requires the acquiring authority to take certain steps in order to inform people whose land may be affected by a proposed Compulsory Purchase Order. These include the publication of notices in both local newspapers and near or on the property itself, as well as individual notifications sent directly to any individuals who could potentially qualify for compensation due to either interference with their rights or reduction in value should they not have ownership over land being acquired. Such ‘qualifying persons’ can range from owners, leaseholders, tenants and occupiers – even those without direct title attaching them to that particular parcel but still owning rights therein which might infringe upon acquisition work taking place nearby.

Public participation is a key part of the process when it comes to CPOs. A formal notice must be sent detailing how, where and when objections may be made within 21 days – an opportunity for citizens to make their voices heard regarding this proposed land transaction. If no objections are received in that period, then either a minister or appointed inspector will review whether proper notices have been given before confirming, modifying or rejecting the order. In cases of objection filed during these proceedings, there can also potentially arise public inquiry hearings which allow further citizen engagement on the matter at hand.

Notices after CPO is confirmed

After the CPO is finalized, those with an interest in the land must be informed via a confirmation notice placed prominently upon or near it. To ensure all potentially affected parties are aware of their rights to question its validity, local newspapers will also disseminate this information within six weeks of finalization.Ready to transform your business’s approach to compulsory purchase orders? Partner with Shergroup for expert guidance. Visit, email us at [email protected], or call 020 3588 4240 for tailored solutions that ensure your peace of mind.

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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