Compulsory Purchase & Compensation
Government Departments and Agencies, Local Authorities and Utility Companies to name but a few, all have statutory powers to compulsorily purchase land or rights over land. Many important schemes for urban regeneration, pipelines, roads and other infrastructure projects require the exercise of such powers.
With members of the firm having worked in both the public and private sectors, we have an unrivalled collective experience in the law and practice of compulsory purchase from ‘both sides of the fence’ including:
- Sound knowledge of the various and often detailed statutory procedures
- Provision of advice to those considering compulsory purchase
- Preparation of objections to Compulsory Purchase Orders and the like
- Representation on behalf of objectors at CPO inquiries
- Negotiation on behalf of objectors at CPO inquiries
- Negotiation of scheme improvements and accommodation works
- Preparation and negotiation of compensation claims
- Resolution of compensation disputes at the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber)
Compulsory Purchase Consultancy
When acting for clients whose property interests face compulsory acquisition, we will always seek ways in which clients can best protect their interests and, where possible, identify opportunities of which clients might take advantage.
When acting for acquiring authorities we can adopt a proactive approach where it is in the clients’ best interest. This may include negotiating the purchase of property interests by agreement and advising on scheme improvements and accommodation works in order to mitigate adverse effects and resulting compensation.
Where land that was compulsorily purchased is no longer needed by the acquiring authority, there are procedures by which the land can be offered back to the previous owners; known as the ‘Crichel Down Rules’. We have successfully navigated these complicated and often overlooked procedures to the benefit of clients.
With the exercise of compulsory purchase powers comes the right for those whose property interests are affected to claim compensation. This is a specialist area of valuation practice and requires a thorough knowledge of relevant statute and case law.
Whether preparing, submitting or negotiating compensation claims on behalf of claimants, or negotiating claims on behalf of acquiring authorities, the expertise and experience which we have gained in numerous Compulsory Purchase schemes of different types over the years, will be employed to the best interests of the client.
Niche areas of compensation work, in which some members of the team have particular experience, include the removal or modification of Restrictive Covenants (and other restrictions affecting legal title) and compensation under the Electricity Act 1989 (for example, where electricity lines affect development sites).
Where compensation claims fail to be settled by negotiation, a reference to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) may well be necessary. We can case manage such a reference or provide expert valuation evidence as necessary.
As members of the RICS, we comply with the requirements of the Institution’s Professional Statement of Compulsory Purchase and Compensation and some of us are also members of the Compulsory Purchase Association.