Compulsory Purchase Order Process

The Compulsory Purchase Order process is made up of a number of stages.  However it is only when the Compulsory  Purchase Order (CPO) has been confirmed by the Confirming Authority, usually the Secretary of State, does an Acquiring Authority have the powers to compulsorily purchase your property.  The process leading up to confirmation (Stage 5) can take between 12 and 18 months

Below is a brief summary of each stage running up to a Public Inquiry:

Stage 1: Formulation

The Acquiring Authority (AA) decide that land is required for a particular purpose or Scheme and that they are prepared to use CPO powers to assist in achieving this. Boundaries are defined and information is gathered

This stage is essentially an information gathering exercise but as part of the process the AA may decide to enter into early negotiations with land owners.  Ultimately a CPO is an acquisition by last resort and therefore the AA must demonstrate that it has exhausted all other avenues to purchase the land.

Stage 2: Resolution

A formal resolution is made to use compulsory purchase powers.  If the CPO is to be made by a Local Council the Council Executive or appropriate Executive Committee will consider the recommendation to use CPO powers and ultimately grant the resolution to use these powers.

Stage 3: Referencing

This stage builds upon the initial information gathering done in Stage 1, recording ownership and occupational details of the land so as to identify all parties with a legal interest or right to occupy the required land.

Stage 4: Making the Order

If valid objections are received, a Public Local Inquiry will be scheduled and heard by a Planning Inspector.  Not later than six weeks after a given date the AA must serve a Statement of Case on the Minister and each remaining objector. This sets out the case to be put forward at the inquiry and justifies the reasons for making the CPO. Copies of all documents referred to in the Statement of Case must be attached, together with a list of any documents which the council intends to refer at the inquiry.

As an alternative to an inquiry, objections can be considered by the Planning Inspector through the written representations procedure.

Objectors can present their own evidence to the Inquiry in support of their objection.  The Inquiry will hear the evidence from all parties concerned before the Inspector closes the Inquiry to consider the decision.

Stage 5: Public Inquiry

If valid objections are received, a Public Local Inquiry will be scheduled and heard by a Planning Inspector.  Not later than six weeks after a given date the AA must serve a Statement of Case on the Minister and each remaining objector. This sets out the case to be put forward at the inquiry and justifies the reasons for making the CPO. Copies of all documents referred to in the Statement of Case must be attached, together with a list of any documents which the council intends to refer at the inquiry.

As an alternative to an inquiry, objections can be considered by the Planning Inspector through the written representations procedure.

Objectors can present their own evidence to the Inquiry in support of their objection.  The Inquiry will hear the evidence from all parties concerned before the Inspector closes the Inquiry to consider the decision.

Stage 6: Post Inquiry

Following the Inquiry the Inspector prepares a report which is then considered by the Secretary of State, or Confirming Minister for approval or otherwise. The report will make a recommendation regarding the proposed CPO.  The Secretary of State will then confirm the Order, confirm subject to modifications or reject the proposed CPO.

If confirmed (with or without modifications) then CPO powers will be confirmed or granted to the AA, who then have a period of 3 years within which to execute the Order.