Purchase notices
Purchase notices

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

  • Purchase notices
  • What is a purchase notice?
  • When can a purchase notice be served?
  • Who can serve a purchase notice?
  • Reasonably beneficial use
  • Procedure for service of purchase notices
  • Legal challenge

What is a purchase notice?

The purchase notice procedure provides landowners with a means of having land acquired by a local planning authority (LPA) where the land has become incapable of reasonably beneficial use. The purchase notice system is often referred to as 'reverse compulsory purchase', because the owner of the land can initiate compulsory purchase of its land by an LPA and is paid compensation as if it were a compulsory purchase.

The procedure is not intended to provide a universal remedy whenever planning permission is refused but it is a ‘longstop’ in cases where no development can be carried out to make the land capable of reasonably beneficial use.

When can a purchase notice be served?

A notice can only be served following a:

  1. refusal of planning permission or listed building consent

  2. conditional grant of planning permission or listed building consent

  3. revocation of planning permission or listed building consent by a 'revocation order' under section 97 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) or sections 23 or 26 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (P(LBCA)A 1990)

  4. modification of planning permission or listed building consent by the imposition of conditions through a 'modification order' under TCPA 1990, s 97 or P(LBCA)A 1990, ss 23 or 26

  5. requirement to discontinue a use

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