Compulsory purchase in Scotland: guide for property owners and occupiers

Guidance for owners and occupiers who believe they may be affected by a compulsory purchase project.

5. Where can I get further information or advice?

5.1. This guide is intended to provide property owners and tenants with a general outline of the compulsory purchase process and the compensation assessment arrangements in Scotland. It is not a substitute for detailed and precise information and advice on what can be highly complex matters based strictly on legislation and associated case law built-up over the last 150 years.

5.2. It is therefore strongly recommended that if you have any queries or doubts about these matters you seek advice from suitably qualified and experienced professionals.

5.3. A range of different organisations can provide further information or advice if you think that your property may be affected by compulsory purchase. Please note that it is important that you obtain the best possible advice and it is therefore worth taking time to identify the most appropriate organisation or professional with relevant experience to answer your questions. Poor quality advice may result in unrealistic expectations, delays in agreeing compensation, frustration, disappointment and unfavourable outcomes.

For information about the compulsory purchase proposal and the underlying project

5.4. If you are uncertain about how a compulsory purchase may affect your property, you can contact the Acquiring Authority that is undertaking the project or promoting the purchase.

5.5. Details of who to contact at the Acquiring Authority should be made clear on any information sent to you as part of the project or advertised in the press or on the organisation's website.

5.6. Information that you can expect to obtain from the Acquiring Authority includes:

  • Why they are undertaking this project, what benefits do they expect it to deliver and what evidence do they have to justify this?
  • How the proposal will affect your property? e.g. will all of my property be purchased and, if not, how will the impact on the rest of my property be minimised?
  • What type of compensation am I entitled to and when can I expect to be paid this?
  • What are the timescales involved?

5.7. Acquiring Authorities are expected to make information available in an accessible format and to take time to explain their proposals so that you can understand the likely impact on your property. You can also expect to have the chance to provide your feedback on the proposals and for any suggestions or comments that you make to be given due consideration by the Acquiring Authority when preparing the final design or proposal.

5.8. Transport Scotland have published their own guide for property owners affected by compulsory purchase for trunk road projects and this is available from: If you are unsure who to speak to in Transport Scotland about a project you can contact them via 0141 272 7100 or

For advice about property valuation, compensation and legal aspects of the compulsory purchase process

5.9. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) hosts a helpline, which can arrange for a member to provide 30 minutes of free advice on compulsory purchase matters, including advice on land value and compensation. RICS also hold a list of surveyors who are experienced in offering support on compulsory purchase matters.

RICS can be reached on 02476 868 555 between 0830 –1730 Monday to Friday.

Prior to making contact with a RICS representative, it may be helpful to write down a list of questions you wish answered to maximise your free consultation.

In 2017, RICS issued a Professional Standard to its members regarding the undertaking of compulsory purchase assessment and compensation work. The contents of that Professional Statement set out best practice and are mandatory for RICS members to follow. The Standard emphasises that only members with appropriate professional experience of this type of work should accept instructions from property owners and tenants affected by compulsory purchase due to the high degree of specialism and expertise required.

5.10. The Compulsory Purchase Association Scotland (CPAS) is a not-for-profit member organisation that promotes best and effective practice in undertaking compulsory purchase. It is non-partisan and does not support or oppose specific schemes. Its membership is drawn from both Acquiring Authorities and private practice firms and comprises a mix of surveyors, solicitors, advocates, planners, accountants and others associated with the delivery or management of compulsory purchase, whether acting for claimants or acquirers.

While CPAS itself cannot provide professional advice and cannot enter into any discussions about projects it may be able to advise you of contact details for members who potentially can.

CPAS can be contacted via their Chairman (Odell Milne) on 0131 656 0189.

5.11. In addition, if you are a member of the National Farmers Union Scotland or Scottish Land & Estates they may be able to provide you with advice and put you in touch with surveyors and solicitors who have expertise in relevant compulsory purchase matters.

NFU Scotland can be contacted on 0131 470 4000.

Scottish Land & Estates can be contacted on 0131 653 5400 or

5.12. The Scottish Agricultural Arbiters and Valuers Association (SAAVA) (which is affiliated with the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers) is a member organisation for valuers, arbiters, auctioneers, surveyors, solicitors, accountants and others involved in arbitration and valuation work within the landward sector. SAAVA can provide advice on which of its members may be able to provide suitable advice in compulsory purchase cases.

SAAVA can be contacted via their Secretary on 01361 882920.

For information and advice about the processes for determining compulsory purchase proposals and for agreeing compensation

5.13. The Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) is responsible for considering objections to draft compulsory purchase proposals and for providing advice and recommendations to Ministers on whether they should be confirmed.

Further information about how DPEA undertake this (including what to expect if you are called to give evidence or to explain your objection at a Public Local Inquiry, Hearing or through Written Submissions) is available from or by calling 0300 244 6668.

5.14. The Lands Tribunal for Scotland (LTS) is the body in Scotland responsible for ruling on disputes involving land and property, including disputes about compensation for compulsory purchase or the loss in value of land caused by public works.

Details of the work of the LTS and how to go about applying for a ruling are available at If you have queries the LTS can be contacted on 0131 271 4350.

5.15. If you have any general queries about the compulsory purchase process or are uncertain where to go for advice, you can contact the Scottish Government Compulsory Purchase Policy Team. Whilst we cannot provide advice on specific cases or projects, we may be able to help you identify what type of organisation or professional can best represent you or answer your questions

Details can be found on the Scottish Government website /publications/compulsory-purchase-orders-introduction/


Email: Sam Anderson

Back to top