The Housing and Planning Bill changes the process by which acquiring authorities can exercise their CPO powers, either through a Notice to Treat or execution of a General Vesting Declaration (GVD).
In relation to GVDs, the Bill removes the need for publication of a preliminary notice of intention before a GVD can be executed.
Instead it prescribes a new form of statement to be included in the notice of confirmation of the CPO. The statement requests those affected by the GVD, and who may have a compensation claim, to come forward and provide the Acquiring Authority (AA), with details of their name, address and interest.
Following publication of the statement in the notice of confirmation, the AA must wait three months, rather than the current minimum 28 days, before making the GVD.
In relation to Notices to Treat and associated Notices of Entry, the Bill extends the current 14 day notice period which the AA must give before possession of land is taken, to a three month minimum period.
It also introduces new powers to protect owners and occupiers in circumstances where a Notice of Entry is served but possession is not then taken by the AA.
Where an AA does not enter and take possession on the date specified in a notice of entry, the delay can cause uncertainty and have a number of adverse effects for the occupiers. For example, there may be a continuing liability to pay rent or insure the land and property that is the subject of the CPO.
To address this, proposed Clause 124 of the Bill introduces a new provision that enables a person in possession of the land to serve a counter notice requiring the authority to take possession of the land on a specified date.
The date specified in the counter notice must be not less than 28 days after the date the counter notice is served and must not be before the end of the period specified in the notice of entry, or any extended period agreed with the AA.
These amendments have been introduced to clarify and speed up the CPO process but in reality it is doubtful that they will make any real practical difference.
The amendments are only tinkering at the edges of the system, when what is needed is a wholescale review and modernisation of the CPO procedure and compensation regime.
This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.