Compulsory Purchase Orders
Has the Local Authority written to you wanting to buy your land for a new road or to widen an existing road?
At Miller & Miller we understand the stress this may cause. We are here to guide you through the process, protect your rights and interests and help you to claim any compensation due.
If your property is included within a proposed scheme the Local Authority (the Acquiring Authority) will write to you setting out their intentions, including plans of the areas they need to acquire or areas they need to temporarily occupy during the works, for the purpose of access and facilitation of the construction.
The letter should state that the Acquiring Authority will:
• compensate you for losses
• pay for a Chartered Surveyor/ Agent/ Valuer to represent you in reaching an agreement on the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
• pay for your legal fees for transference of any land to them
Note – it is important you keep a comprehensive record of all communications with the Acquiring Authority.
CPO and Losses
The Acquiring Authority will try and negotiate land deals and at the same time will prepare a compulsory purchase order (CPO). This will need confirming by a government minister before the Authority have legal powers to enact it.
- Keep detailed records of all incurred expenses and losses sustained as you may be able to recover these through your claim for compensation.
- You can only receive compensation for expenses and losses which occur as a direct and reasonable consequence of the acquisition of your property.
- You are under duty to ‘mitigate your loss’. If losses are increased as a result of your actions (or lack of them) you will not receive compensation for these increases.
- You may be served with a ‘requisition for information’ form which may include a map asking you to mark the boundaries of your interest.
- Failure to provide information or make false or reckless statements is a criminal offence.
Notification and Publicity
Before the Acquiring Authority submits the CPO for confirmation notices must be:
• served to every ‘qualifying person’ stating the effects of the order
• published for two successive weeks in one or more local newspapers
• fixed on/near the land covered by the order.
Objections and Negotiations
Objections to the CPO must be made at least 21 days from the date the notice is posted and arrive with the Minister within the period specified in the notice.
The Acquiring Authority will seek to negotiate with objectors prior to public inquiry and accommodate where they can, without prejudicing their scheme, in exchange for objections to be withdrawn.
Note- before withdrawing your objection, ensure that any agreement is put into a legally enforceable form of writing. Your solicitor should advise on this.
Consideration of Objections
The Minister may consider objections through written representations or if deemed necessary he will write to all parties indicating that an inquiry is to be held, the date of this letter is known as the ‘relevant date’.
The Inquiry will normally be held within 22 weeks of the ‘relevant date’
Within 6 weeks after the ‘relevant date’ – the Acquiring Authority must serve a ‘statement of case’ which sets out full particulars of the case to be put forward to justify the CPO.
At least 42 days’ notice must be given of the date, time and place of the Inquiry
At least 14 days before. Site notices advertising details must be posted by the Authority, a press notice may also be required.
After the Inquiry, or the written representations, an Inspector will visit the site and produce a report for the Minister setting out their recommendations.
The Minister will decide whether to confirm, modify or reject the CPO after considering the Inspectors Report.
Following the decision the Acquiring Authority must publicise the decision in local press and serve Notice of Confirmation of CPO on ‘qualifying persons’.
Challenge to Confirmation of CPO
Under the Acquisition of the Land Act 1981, the validity of a CPO can be challenged in proceedings of the High Court, within 6 weeks of the first press publication of the Notice of Confirmation.
Therefore, you need to act very quickly if you think there are grounds to challenge and should take legal advice immediately.
A decision may be subject to Judicial Review within 3 months.
Following Confirmation of a CPO Acquiring Authorities may use a number of methods to purchase land:
• By Agreement
• Following a Notice to Treat/Notice of Entry
• By a General Vesting Declaration (GVD)
• By procedures for requiring short tenancies
• In response to a Blight Notice
Following service of this notice the Acquiring Authority will serve a notice of entry before taking possession of the land.
General Vesting Declaration
A GVD gives the Acquiring Authority the right to enter and take possession of the land but it vests (conveys) the title of the property to them.
In such case you will first you will first receive a preliminary notice. Two months from the date of this notice the Acquiring Authority may execute the GVD
A second notice will state that the GVD has been executed and specify a ‘vesting date’ which is at least 28 days away.
The right to compensation following the taking of possession of land and property is dealt with under the ‘Compensation Code’.
For further details and information on compensation and what you may be entitled to claim contact David Miller on Tel: 0114 3270120.