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Compulsory Purchase General

The following is a brief outline of compensation law; it is not a comprehensive guide, for specific enquiries contact Chris Hart.

  • The power of a public body to take land for their purposes is derived from statutory powers.
  • Dependent on the exact powers used, for example a highways Act, are an individuals rights to compensation.
  • The Compulsory Purchase Act 1965, as amended by subsequent legislation up to and including the Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, sets out a basic code of law regarding the rights of both the acquiring authority and the landowner.
  • There are two basic ways or compulsorily acquiring land, a compulsory purchase order, or a General Vesting Declaration [a mini act of parliament].
  • Entitlement to compensation is broadly enjoyed by the following;
    • A person required to convey, assign or surrender an interest in land compulsorily.
    • Someone whose interest in land has depreciated although no part of it is acquired.
    • Someone displaced from a dwelling compulsorily.
    • Someone in lawful occupation of land without a compensatable interest.
  • There are a range of circumstances where freeholders, leaseholders, contractual and statutory tenants, licensees, option holders, mortgages and those with benefit of easements and rights of way may have a right to compensation.
  • Purchase by the acquiring authority is generally by agreement, either in pursuit of actual powers or with CPO powers in the background. The interest to be acquired being defined by the Notice to Treat.
  • Where a public body seeks to acquire property it does not always have a statutory right to do so compulsorily, in these cases it is the best price that can be agreed that is the true measure of value.
  • Where occupation of land is taken the acquiring authority are obliged to pay interest on the appropriate amount of compensation from that date until payment of the whole amount is made.
  • An alternative to paying compensation on the whole amount is where the acquiring authority pay advance compensation to the claimant, this is on the basis of 90% of the acquiring authorities own estimate of compensation at the point a claim for advance compensation is made, interest is due on any additional amounts agreed as set out above.
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