Policy Summary: Government to go ahead with proposed changes to compulsory purchase

Policy: Consultation on Further Reform of the Compulsory Purchase System: Government Response to Consultation.

Development: government hopes CPO changes will speed process
Development: government hopes CPO changes will speed process

Issued by: Department for Communities and Local Government

Issue date: 7 September 2016

Background: In March, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) consulted on a range of measures "aimed at making the compulsory purchase process clearer, faster and fairer for all". Its response to the consultation was published last month. Most of the proposals have been included in last month's Neighbourhood Planning Bill.

Key points: The consultation response says that the government intends to go ahead with all the measures proposed. Among the key changes are plans to codify in legislation the "no scheme world"principle.

According to the document, this is a "core principle" of compulsory purchase compensation for landowners, in which land value is calculated without taking into account any uplift caused by the scheme that has prompted the compulsory purchase order (CPO). It will also go ahead with proposals to "extend the definition of 'the scheme' to include relevant transport infrastructure projects" that are directly linked to the development project concerned.

Another key measure that is being taken forward would allow "all bodies with compulsory purchase powers" the right to take temporary possession of land to deliver their scheme. The DCLG said that it "will build in the necessary safeguards to ensure that landowners and occupiers are treated fairly and that there is some certainty about how this power can be used".

A further proposal would put mayoral development corporations "on the same footing as new town and urban development corporations for the purposes of assessing compensation". Currently, all development schemes within a designated new town or urban development corporation area are disregarded when assessing compensation. This means that compensation for later CPOs in those areas is assessed on the same basis as the first order and is unaffected by earlier development, the document says.

A review of the "Bishopsgate Principle" - a case law assumption relating to length of occupation by tenants - will also be implemented. The document says legislation will be amended so that short-term tenants and lessees with a break clause in their leases are treated in the same way as licensees with no interest in the land when it comes to compensation.

Further measures outlined in the document include allowing the Greater London Authority and Transport for London to promote joint CPOs, altering the way that planning permission is taken into account when assessing land value and introducing a six-week time limit within which authorities must implement CPOs.

All of these measures will be introduced in the bill. However, further proposals will be introduced in secondary legislation "at the earliest opportunity". These include occupiers receiving greater proportions of the statutory loss payment, raising the value limit for occupiers and landowners serving a blight notice in Greater London and introducing a "penal" interest rate of eight per cent on the late payment of advance compensation by acquiring authorities.

The document can be read here. 

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