Compulsory purchase orders and acquiring authorities: guidance on CPO use

CPOGNAA/001 First in a series of guidance notes intended to provide information for acquiring authorities with no, or limited experience of compulsory purchase on how to use CPOs.

2. Human Rights and Compulsory Purchase

2.1. Protocol 1, Article 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights ( ECHR) provides for the right to the peaceful enjoyment of one's possessions. Depriving an individual or business of their rights is a serious step that an Acquiring Authority should consider carefully.

2.2. However, it has been established that compulsory purchase will not breach these Human Rights where it:

  • Is authorised by law;
  • Is proportionate;
  • Can be demonstrated to be in the public interest; and
  • Landowners and others with an interest in the land are appropriately compensated.

2.3. Acquiring authorities should therefore be able to explain why they consider that:

a. The purposes for which land is to be acquired are sufficiently important to justify the deprivation of property or interference with possession which the compulsory purchase of land entails;

b. The land in question is needed for the proper delivery of those purposes;

c. A less intrusive measure could not have been used for those purposes; and

d. A fair balance has been struck between the rights of the individuals affected and the interests of the community.


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