Legal Updates

Commercial Property Law – Property Law - New Compulsory Purchase Rules

The new Compulsory Purchase (Inquiries Procedure) Rules 2007 were introduced on the 29th of January 2008 and will take into account changes to the procedure and terminology introduced by Part 8 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

The rules prescribe the procedures which are to be followed in connection with any public local inquiry which may be held when considering whether to authorise the compulsory purchase order of land in England. The rules replace the following:

§   The Compulsory Purchase by Non-Ministerial Acquiring Authorities (Inquiries Procedure) Rules 1990 (SI 1990/512); and

§   The Compulsory Purchase by Ministers (Inquiries Procedure) Rules 1994 (SI 1994/3264).

The new combined rules are applicable to all public local inquiries where a Minister (except a Welsh Minister) is either:

§   The confirming authority for the purposes of the Acquisition of Land Act 1981, s.13A(3)(a) (“the Act”); or

§   The appropriate authority for the purposes of Schedule 1, paragraph 4A to the Act where the compulsory purchase order is made in draft by a UK government Minister.

The legislation usually allows a named body to compulsorily purchase land for a given purpose. A typical acquiring authority is likely to be a local authority, statutory undertaker or urban regeneration agency. In addition to the substitution of the term "statutory objector" by "remaining objector", in consequence of amendments made to the Act by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, there are a number of less important procedural changes:

§        The deadline for serving notice of intention to hold an inquiry has been extended to five weeks. The five weeks begin from the end of the objection period. This is to allow the operation of the consent stage in the written representations procedure which objectors may use as an alternative to the inquiry procedure as part of the decision making process.

§        The requirement that any statement of case for non-ministerial order inquiries should be sent at least 28 days before the date fixed for the inquiry has been removed altogether.

§        Some terms have been modernised. For example, the rules now refer to the "authorising authority" which is the confirming authority in the case of a non-ministerial Order or the appropriate authority in the case of a Ministerial Order.

Please contact us for more information on assessing damages due under termination of a contract at

© RT COOPERS, 2007. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.


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