Implementing a CPO—notice to treat and General Vesting Declaration
Implementing a CPO—notice to treat and General Vesting Declaration

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

  • Implementing a CPO—notice to treat and General Vesting Declaration
  • Context
  • Purpose for making CPO must not change
  • What is a notice to treat and when can this procedure be used?
  • What is a General Vesting Declaration and when can it be used?
  • No general vesting declaration after notice to treat
  • Compulsory purchase in Wales

Context

The confirmation of a compulsory purchase order (CPO) does not vest title in the land subject to the CPO in the acquiring authority, nor does it give the acquiring authority power to take possession of that land. The acquiring authority must implement the CPO by taking a positive step to exercise the powers conferred on it by the CPO.

Where land cannot be acquired by agreement in the shadow of a confirmed CPO (under section 3 of the Compulsory Purchase Act 1965 (CPA 1965), there are two routes to acquiring title in and taking possession of the land subject to a CPO:

  1. by service of notice to treat and notice of entry under CPA 1965, ss 4–13

  2. by execution of a general vesting declaration (GVD) under the Compulsory Purchase (Vesting Declaration) Act 1981 (CP(VD)A 1981)

It is vital that the correct procedures and formalities for each route are followed, otherwise the acquiring authority’s actions are subject to legal challenge.

As a matter of best practice, the acquiring authority should formulate a strategy for implementing the CPO, taking into account:

  1. which procedure it can use and which procedure is appropriate in the specific circumstances

  2. the fact that implementing a CPO gives rise to a claim for compensation, therefore considering the financial consequences

  3. whether implementation of the CPO should be staggered, to