Compulsory purchase orders and acquiring authorities: guidance on preparing a CPO

CPOGNAA/003 Third in a series of guidance notes intended to provide information for acquiring authorities with no, or limited experience of, compulsory purchase orders (CPOs). This note provides guidance on preparing a CPO.

7. Technical Check

7.1. Scottish Ministers strongly encourage Acquiring Authorities to utilise a free technical check available for any draft Order. It is a very useful process for Acquiring Authorities in the period after the CPO, the associated Statement of Reasons and draft advert have been prepared, and prior to it being signed off by the Acquiring Authority.

7.2. The technical check allows Scottish Government to carry out a broad ranging review of the technicalities of the draft CPO and supporting documents with a view to identifying potential legal and procedural issues which may adversely impact any submitted CPO.

7.3. The technical check does not look at the merits of a draft CPO or its justification. The technical check will be limited mainly to consideration of the CPO with reference to the relevant Acts, regulations and procedural matters.

7.4. Acquiring Authorities should ensure that the following is sent electronically to the relevant Lead Officer:

  • The draft CPO, Schedules and Map(s);
  • A statement as to the purpose for which the land is being acquired (also referred to as the statement of reasons); and
  • Draft adverts and public notices.

If it has doubts about any particular technical points it may seek comments from the Scottish Government as to the position Ministers may take in relation to the particular issue.

7.5. The Acquiring Authority should provide:

  • The details of how the proposal will be financed;
  • Details of whether the proposal sits within the local development plan, relevant local strategy, investment plan or equivalent;
  • Details of who will take forward the development, and what contracts are in place;
  • The number of parties who are likely to be affected by the CPO, either directly, or indirectly; and
  • The level of engagement the Acquiring Authority has had with landowners about the proposals.

7.6. It would also be useful for the Acquiring Authority to provide any initial position land owners (or those effected) have taken during the Acquiring Authorities engagement with them. This can greatly assist the Scottish Government Department for Planning and Environment Appeals plan resources for a potential Inquiry if the objections are maintained once the Order has been passed to Scottish Ministers for confirmation.

7.7. The Scottish Government will aim to provide comments on the Order and associated documents within one month of receipt provided all the information it requires has been supplied.

7.8. This technical examination and any comments that Ministers provide about technical points is without prejudice to their role in later considering the order for confirmation. Furthermore, completion of a technical check does not guarantee that errors or mistakes may not be identified at a later stage, for example, when the CPO is formally submitted for consideration.

7.9. On completion of the Technical Check, the Acquiring Authority should make any necessary corrections and take any additional steps identified before formally submitting the CPO to the Scottish Government for confirmation.


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