Are you looking to acquire land to further your development? The law provides power to some public bodies which allows them to compulsorily acquire land through a vesting order when they are doing so for a specific purpose. This could, for example, be an infrastructure provision or regeneration. Compulsory purchase and compensation is only needed when the owner of the land does not want to sell it through an agreement and this is where advisors come in. This is a sensible tool which allows particular bodies to implement their statutory duties effectively. However, for some it can also be seen as infringing on the rights of the person who own the land or property.

Who Can Implement Compulsory Purchase Powers?

There are many public bodies in across the UK who have compulsory purchase powers and they can use these powers to submit an application for a vesting order to the relevant department. For example, this could be for the department that deals with communities, or it could be for the department that develops infrastructure.

If a public body decides to acquire land, then they must back up their case for the compulsory acquisition. With Planning Orders, this means that is must be for a development scheme, for public interest or as part of the wider interests for planning in a specific area.

The Department will then provide a notice of intention to vest the land and this will be done twice. It is after this point that any objections can be made to the vesting order and if this happens, a public inquiry will then begin. After this public inquiry, a decision will be made about whether or not this vesting order should or should not go ahead. Once this has been finalised, a notice will be published, and the land will vest in the public body. This will either happened on the day in which the vest order is effective or when it is registered at the Land Registry.

Making an Objection to a Compulsory Acquisition

If you are the owner of land and object to a compulsory acquisition, you can lodge an objection against this. However, you must also have a case as to why you will not sell the land. This can include issues such as the order not being made within the public body’s authority, that the sale of the land is not necessary, that procedural requirements have not been met or that your human rights are going to be infringed.

If you lose, you will still be entitled to compulsory purchase compensation. This varies from case to case as it can be claimed for the value of the land, but you can also claim compensation for other costs such as disturbance fees and paying for solicitors. You may also be able to receive extra money as compensation as the time of selling the land is not of your own choosing and may not be convenient for you.

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