Implementing a CPO—notice to treat and General Vesting Declaration

The following Planning practice 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?
  • Who is entitled to receive a notice to treat?
  • Duration
  • Contents of the notice
  • Recipient's actions following service of the notice
  • Restriction on works following receipt of notice to treat
  • Notice of entry and possession
  • More...

Implementing a CPO—notice to treat and General Vesting Declaration

Coronavirus (COVID-19): This Practice Note contains guidance on subjects potentially impacted by the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak (see: Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on CPO implementation in England). For further updates on key developments and related practical guidance on the implications for lawyers, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Planning and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit.


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

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