This week the Government have announced that they have updated their guidance on the CPO or compulsory purchase order process. This provides an update on the original publication in October 2015 with the addition of a new compulsory purchase model compensation form and guidance notes published on 22 September 2017. They have achieved this by revamping their instructions, introducing what they believe is an easier and ‘clearer way’ to assess compensation.
As we’ve covered previously on our blog, compulsory purchase powers enable public bodies, say for example local authorities, to acquire land that is needed for projects that are deemed to be in the public’s best interests. If a governing body elects to call upon this power it can often lead to disputes around compensation. Disputes typically can occur over claimants being unsatisfied with the compensation amount or the deliverance of money, however, a highly common issue is the lack of information provided by governing bodies. Up until now, acquiring parties have had to provide more information to help offer clarity in the support of compensation claims due to the lack of guidance currently given. Encouragingly, this issue has now been tackled.
In order to provide a remedy for the confusion, the Government have now replaced and updated their online guidance forms. This can be found using the below the link:
During the announcement of the reform, the previous breakdown was described as an ‘obscurely worded statute’, whereas the revised copy is much more ‘straightforward’ and uses ‘modern terms’. In addition, they have also announced the introduction of a new first standard claim form. ‘This Government is committed to making compulsory purchase simpler, fairer and faster,’ said housing minister Alok Sharma.
‘That is why the measures we are introducing include a clearer way to assess compensation – replacing obscurely worded legislation and over 100 years of confusing case law. We are also introducing a new form to make it easier for claimants to get the compensation they are entitled to, and help acquiring authorities get the information they need to assess claims more quickly.’
The welcome news should offer a more in-depth explanation that will hopefully diminish confused claimants over the coming months and years. As ever though, the process can be a daunting and somewhat a tough topic to get your head around. Therefore, if you’re looking to for more support on the subject or would like to talk to one of our CPO specialists, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.