Planning Circular 6/2011: Compulsory purchase orders

Scottish Government policy on making compulsory purchase orders.


C1. The following list is not exhaustive. However, when considering making a compulsory purchase order, the authority should take into account the following:

  • Has the authority properly engaged with the people affected? Has it assessed the impact of its proposals on them? Has it assessed whether it can minimise or mitigate that impact, and has it evidenced this? Has it considered whether it is practicable to attempt to purchase the land by agreement? (see paragraphs 4 to 8)
  • Has it properly assessed the public benefit in its proposals against the impact on the people affected? Is it satisfied that the public benefit justifies making a compulsory purchase order? (see paragraphs 9 to 16)
  • Has it considered and assessed any alternative ways of achieving its aims? Has it evidenced this? If the scheme could be located on another site, has it properly assessed the feasibility of any suitable alternative sites? Has it evidenced this? (see paragraphs 11 to 12)
  • Does the exact wording of the enabling act authorise compulsory purchase for everything that the authority wants to do? Has it chosen the most appropriate compulsory purchase power for its purpose? (see paragraphs 18 to 31).
  • Does what the authority proposes accord with prevailing planning policy? What is the stated position in the development plan, national planning policy and other relevant planning policies or guidance? Does the scheme align with these? Does the scheme need any planning permission or consent to be granted? If so, are there any reasons why this might not be granted? (see paragraphs 22 to 25).
  • If the authority is working with a third party, has it properly weighed the public interest in the proposals against the impact on the people affected in the same way that it would for any other order? Is the authority satisfied that it can comply with procurement law and any relevant legislation about disposing of the land to a third party? (see paragraphs 35 to 39).
  • Are the people affected likely to object to the order? On what grounds might they object? Is the authority satisfied that it can justify its proposals at an inquiry? (see paragraphs 62 to 67)
  • Is the authority satisfied that it can justify acquiring all of the land that it seeks to acquire (is all of the land that the authority seeks to acquire necessary to do what it proposes)? Is it satisfied that it has included all of the land that it will need (including any land it may need during the construction phase)?
  • Is any of the land afforded special protection against compulsory purchase 51 ?
  • Is any of the land owned by the Crown? 52
  • Does the authority need to acquire any new rights over land, such as a temporary or permanent right of access? If so, does the enabling act authorise the compulsory acquisition of the new rights? (see also paragraph 21)
  • Is the authority satisfied that there are no barriers likely to prevent it completing the scheme? (see paragraph 34) Is it satisfied that it has a reasonable prospect of funding the acquisition and completing the scheme in a reasonable timescale? (see paragraphs 32 to 33)
  • Has it identified any related application or appeals that may require a decision at the same time as the compulsory purchase order? (see paragraph 61)
  • Has the authority identified all interests that it needs to acquire? Does it have accurate, up to date assessments of the compensatable value of all interests and the likely level of compensation claims? (see paragraphs 78 to 91) Are there any other possible heads of claim? For example, is there potential for the owner to successfully apply for a certificate of appropriate alternative development ( CAAD)? 53 (see paragraph 82)
  • If the authority is acquiring part only of a person's land, has it considered the possibility of the owner serving a notice of objection to severance? 54 Has the authority fully considered the impact of severance on the remaining land, and whether a small change in its proposals could lessen that impact? (see paragraph 84)
  • Will other properties be blighted or adversely affected as a result of the authority's scheme? If so, could this lead to compensation claims? Has the authority considered the likelihood of the owners of blighted properties serving it with blight notices? Has it considered how much this could cost, and whether it would have sufficient funds in place immediately to acquire any blighted properties? (see paragraphs 90 to 91)
  • Is the authority satisfied that it has enough land agent, surveyor and/or legal expertise or capacity in house? If not, has the authority considered whether it might be best value to seek specialist advice from the Valuation Office Agency or a provider of similar services in the private sector?



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