Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Government publishes compulsory purchase guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Government publishes compulsory purchase guidance

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has published guidance for acquiring authorities on compulsory purchases during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The guidance sets out direction for specific aspects of compulsory purchase matters, including recently submitted compulsory purchase orders (CPOs), the service of documents and time periods for responses.

Acquiring authorities have been afforded guidance on the following:

• recently submitted CPOs: if an authority is yet to receive acknowledgement of receipt of a CPO submitted during or after the week commencing 16 March 2020, contact data-sf-ec-immutable="">

• service of documents: Royal Mail will not be taking customer signatures when delivering documents, including those ‘served’ under the Acquisition of Land Act 1981, and will instead be logging the recipient’s name

• time periods for responses: MHCLG encourages authorities to consider the appropriateness of extending time periods for people to respond to interests in land requests, or submitting objections to CPOs

• return of documents to acquiring authorities: where the MHCLG Planning Casework Unit (PCU) cannot deliver documents electronically, the PCU will contact the authority to agree where documents should be sent

• decisions remitted back to acquiring authorities: when CPOs are remitted to acquiring authorities for confirmation, notices to that authority will be sent electronically, followed by hard copies when possible. Authorities should also contact the PCU via data-sf-ec-immutable=""> if they are expecting to submit a CPO within the next six months

• dealing with claimants: when applying CPOs, authorities should act responsibly with both business and residential claimants, especially with the timing of vesting orders and compensation. MHCLG advise that residents ‘should not be unduly evicted during this period’

The full guidance is available here.

Source: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – compulsory purchase guidance

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