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Compulsory Purchase

Public authorities usually buy property that they need for projects in the public interest such as road construction, housing developments or town centre regeneration by reaching agreement with the owners. However, a compulsory purchase order can allow various organisations to acquire land without the owner's permission, if there is a strong enough case for this in the public interest.  Depriving an individual or business of their rights is a serious step that an authority should consider carefully. However, compulsory purchase can play a vital role. It can help deliver urban and rural regeneration, revitalising communities, creating jobs and promoting business.

The Scottish Government has a formal role in the process, as orders promoted by other public bodies must be confirmed by Scottish Ministers before they can proceed. In deciding whether or not to confirm an order Scottish Ministers consider objections and weigh up the public benefit in the authority's proposals against the interests of the people affected.

The Scottish Government has published a number of relevant documents:

Further Information
  • Contact points to speak to about compulsory purchase orders
  • Presentations from the February 2013 City of Edinburgh Council / Brodies training event - Compulsory Purchase Orders, and supported by the Scottish Government.

  • The Scottish Law Commission is undertaking a review of compulsory purchase and land compensation law. A discussion paper was published on December 17, 2014 with comments requested by June 19, 2015. You can find more information on the Commission’s website.