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Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO)


A CPO allows certain bodies to acquire land or properties without the owner’s consent, for example a local school is to be built and land needs to be acquired for the site and the local land owners will not sell the land to the local council or the Highways Agency wishing to widen a road. The local authority who is seeking a CPO must prove that there is a strong public interest in the development they are seeking to progress.

The process for obtaining a CPO is quite lengthy and we would advise you to contact a solicitor immediately if you receive a notice or become aware of a proposed CPO which could affect your land/property. Of Course we would be happy to advice and assist on such a matter.

How do the council exercise a CPO that has been made? Unless and agreement is reached then there are two main ways either:-

1. the execution of a General Vesting Declaration

This is a formal procedure when the council wait two months after sending out the preliminary notice before it can make a general vesting declaration. The local authority will send all owners and occupiers a notice confirming the general vesting declaration and provide at least 28 days notice that the council will be taking possession.

The property that is subject to a general vesting declaration will mean that the owners are entitled to compensation which will be settled and paid after the general vesting declaration has been made.

The council cannot serve a general vesting declaration on a party that has a long lease which is due expire or a short tenancy of a year or less as the council do not want to be paying compensation to parties whose interest in the land will expire before the period of the general vesting declaration expires.

2. Notice to Treat

The council will serve a notice to treat and request to agree a price for the property. The notice to treat is served with a notice of entry and the entry must take place at least 14 days after the notice. After the notice period the land or property is transferred and the settlement paid.

The council will often use this approach for speed. Further a notice to treat can potentially be withdrawn when and general vesting declaration cannot.

There are time limits that have to be complied with when a CPO is being sought and made.

It can be a stressful time for land/property owners and therefore if you are served with any notices in respect of a CPO please feel free to make contact with our Christie Limb climb@fidler.co.uk.

One Response to “Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO)”

  1. jonathan offen says:

    Dear Sir,
    Would you be interested to advise us. We are group of mostly elderly homeowners expecting a CPO shortly from the local council.
    sincerely yours,
    Jonathan Offen for and on behalf of the Orlit Homeowners Assn.
    conact numbers; 07934880999 / 0208 669 3619

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