Compulsory purchase—orders
Compulsory purchase—orders

The following Planning guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Compulsory purchase—orders
  • Brexit impact
  • What are compulsory purchase powers?
  • Sources of compulsory purchase powers
  • Acquiring authorities
  • Purpose of compulsory purchase powers
  • Land and interests to be acquired, created, or interfered with
  • Acquiring authorities' right to enter and survey land
  • Justifying a CPO
  • Outline of procedure for promoting a CPO
  • more

Brexit impact

This content is likely to be impacted by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. For further information on the implications of leaving the EU for planning law and practice, see: Brexit—implications for planning law and practice—overview and Practice Note: Brexit—the implications for English and Welsh planning law and practice.

What are compulsory purchase powers?

Compulsory purchase powers enable certain bodies, known as acquiring authorities, to compulsorily purchase land, without the agreement of the owner, where authorised by Parliament to carry out specified functions which must be in the public interest. Anyone who has land acquired compulsorily is generally entitled to compensation.

Compulsory purchase powers are regarded as an exception to the general protection afforded to property and are justified on the grounds that the public interest in the scheme underlying the compulsory purchase outweighs the landowner's interest.

Sources of compulsory purchase powers

Powers of compulsory purchase must be granted by statute. There are a large number of enabling powers, each of which specifies the bodies that are acquiring authorities for the purposes of the power and the purposes for which the land can be acquired. The most commonly-used enabling powers of compulsory purchase are:

  1. a compulsory purchase order (CPO) made by an acquiring authority who is empowered to do so under a specific provision in an