4. Objections to an Order
4.1. Once an Order has been advertised and submitted there then follows a statutory period of 21 days where all interested parties can make objections. The 21 day objection period is the minimum period required in law, however, Acquiring Authorities may wish to adopt a longer period depending on the time of year the CPO is being advertised. Interested parties are known as either statutory objectors ( i.e. those people whose land or rights are directly affected by the order) or non-statutory objectors ( i.e. everyone else). Objections are submitted directly to the Scottish Government for consideration.
4.2. If there are no objections then Scottish Ministers will make a decision on whether or not to confirm the CPO based on the available information (see Section 6 of this note).
4.3. If objections are made to the Order the Scottish Government Lead Officer will send the Acquiring Authority a copy of them as they are received. This is to allow the Acquiring Authority to begin to consider how it might address the objections.
4.4. At the end of the statutory notification period, the Lead Officer will ensure the Acquiring Authority has received copies of all objections. Objections which are not considered valid will be clearly marked and the Scottish Government will contact the objector to let them know that their objection has been deemed invalid and why.
4.5. In cases where there are significant volumes of valid objections to the Order, made by statutory objectors, or the case is complex or contentious then the Scottish Government Lead Officer will alert the Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals ( DPEA) to the fact that it is likely the case will be referred to them for consideration through Public Local Inquiry ( PLI) or a Hearing. This allows DPEA to begin preparing for the case reaching them.
4.6. In all cases, the Scottish Government Lead Officer will ask the Acquiring Authority to reply with its comments in response to the objections made about the CPO.
4.7. The Acquiring Authority should normally reply to Scottish Government within 14 days with copies of all their individual comments for each objection made. The Acquiring Authority should tell Scottish Government whether it intends contacting the objectors and whether in their opinion they think it is likely to reach agreement with all objectors and thus secure the withdrawal of every objection. If an Acquiring Authority is not able to respond within 14 days, it should advise the Scottish Government Lead Officer and give reasons for this, and request an extension.
4.8. In some cases the Acquiring Authority may be able to alter its plans or provide assurances in writing to the objectors that may address their concerns and result in all objectors agreeing to withdraw their objection. If this is the case the Scottish Government Lead Officer should be informed immediately and the objectors will be required to confirm the withdrawal of their objection in writing or by e-mail.
4.9. In other cases the Acquiring Authority might consider that there is no realistic prospect of every objector withdrawing their objection and if this is the case the Acquiring Authority should tell the Scottish Government Lead Officer as soon as possible.
4.10. On receipt of the Acquiring Authority's comments on the objections these will be copied to the relevant objectors with a covering letter seeking their views on whether the Acquiring Authority's response sufficiently address their concerns, and asking them to confirm whether or not they intend to maintain their objection. Objectors are given 14 days to respond. If no response is received within this timeframe, then their objection is treated as being maintained.
4.11. If an objection from a statutory objector is maintained then, unless there are exceptional circumstances and the Acquiring Authority requests it, the Scottish Government Lead Officer will arrange for the case to be transferred to Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals ( DPEA) for the case to be heard.
4.12. If a Hearing or Inquiry is necessary it will be arranged as soon as possible. However, the Acquiring Authority should be prepared to continue to negotiate with objectors about their concerns. If the Acquiring Authority becomes aware that an objector has withdrawn their objection it should inform the Scottish Government Lead Officer / DPEA immediately.