• What is a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO)?

    Compulsory Purchase Orders are court orders that are used to acquire the rights to land before developments can take place. It is effectively a court order that forces a landowner to sell their land.

    When are Compulsory Purchase Orders used?

    CPOs often used by local authorities so they can proceed with planned development projects such as new motorways or a new town centre. Without CPOs, large-scale development projects may not be possible if the owner of the land did not want to sell.

    Obviously, it would not be good if important development projects had to be put on hold because an individual did not want to sell their land; that is where CPOs come in. Having said that, a local authority cannot just request a CPO; they must put their case forward and demonstrate that the land is needed for the improvement of the economic, social or environmental wellbeing of the area.

    How is a land or property owner notified of a Compulsory Purchase Order?

    There are two ways a land/property owner can be informed of a Compulsory Purchase Order;

    1. Serving of a notice – a local authority can make a formal request to agree a price for the land/property. This is known as a ‘notice to treat’.
    1. General vesting declaration – a local authority can exercise a CPO using this formal procedure, which gives them the right to take ownership of the land/property.

    Is the land or property owner entitled to compensation?

    Yes, the land/property owner is entitled to compensation. The amount of the compensation awarded will be enough to cover all expenses including the cost of buying another property (and legal costs) and the cost of moving; as well as the value of the land/property.

    What happens if the occupants do not leave?

    Even when compensation is agreed with the land/property owner, there are often cases where the occupants do not leave when they should and enforcement is required. As High Court Enforcement Officers, Burlington can help remove the occupants and gain possession of the land/property.

    Usually, a Writ of Possession would be required to remove an occupant from a property, however, this is not the case where a CPO is involved. The CPO is a court order itself and a High Court Enforcement Officer can act on this to remove the occupant and, unlike a Writ of Possession, it does not expire after execution so it can be used if the property reoccupied.