Compulsory purchase orders: core principles

Our core principles in relation to compulsory purchase orders (CPOs).

Compulsory Purchase Orders - core principles

General principles

We will:

  • act fairly and impartially when considering CPOs that are referred to Scottish Ministers
  • assign clear roles and responsibilities to staff considering CPOs and ensure that levels of delegated authority are clearly defined
  • ensure that the CPO process is fully transparent and that all parties involved are kept informed and are aware of timescales to minimise any uncertainty
  • ensure that all Scottish Government actions are undertaken timeously
  • ensure that all communication is clear and fit for purpose

Scottish Ministers will only confirm a CPO if the proposer has fully demonstrated that they:

  • have considered all other options
  • can evidence that they have engaged, or attempted to engage with those affected by the proposed development, unless the proposal is critical to national infrastructure
  • can clearly evidence the public interest in the proposal and any social, economic and environment benefits and that they outweigh the rights of the land owners' affected

Procedural commitments

Pre-Compulsory Purchase Order

We will:

  • offer early advice and guidance to promoters of CPOs to help them anticipate and identify any hurdles to the CPO process
  • offer a technical assessment of any Draft CPO and aim to provide feedback on any Draft Order within 30 days of receipt. The aim of these checks is to reduce subsequent delays and the period of uncertainty for people affected

Submitted Compulsory Purchase Orders

We will:

  • process CPOs which have been submitted as soon as we are satisfied that the CPO and all accompanying documentation complies with statutory obligations
  • consider any objections to a CPO when received. Where these are not valid, we will advise the objector of our views and explain our reasoning and offer them an opportunity to respond
  • as a minimum where possible, we will send details of all objections to the Acquiring Authority within 14 days once the objection period ends
  • as part of our deliberations, in the first instance, we shall allow the Acquiring Authority an opportunity to respond to any objections raised within 14 days. We shall then offer the objector 14 days to consider the Acquiring Authority response and to confirm whether they wish to maintain their objection
  • refer CPOs with any outstanding objections to the DPEA for consideration no later than 14 days from the deadline given to outstanding objectors to respond
  • where possible, seek confirmation from the DPEA on how they intend to consider the objections and likely timescales within 14 days of the case being referred to them
  • consider recommendations from an Inquiry Reporter and make a decision on the case, where possible, within 30 days from receipt of the DPEA report
  • issue the decision and key documents within 7 days of Scottish Ministers confirming, confirming with modification or, not confirming a CPO



Area 2-H (South)
Planning and Architecture Division
The Scottish Government
Victoria Quay

Back to top