Compulsory purchase—orders
Compulsory purchase—orders

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

  • Compulsory purchase—orders
  • 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
  • Compensation
  • More...

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 Act of Parliament for specified purposes (such as powers of local authorities under section 226 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) to make a CPO to facilitate the carrying out of development, redevelopment or improvement of land)

  2. an Act of Parliament authorising construction of a specific public works project which includes powers of compulsory purchase for purposes

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