Changes to compulsory purchase procedure in Wales

Posted by LindaStenner on February 4, 2021

Changes to compulsory purchase procedure in Wales

February 04, 2021 at 3:38 PM

The Welsh Government has announced changes to its planning policy, updating the Compulsory Purchase procedure in Wales to assist the delivery of land for housing and redevelopment.

In a circular entitled Compulsory Purchase in Wales and ‘The Crichel Down Rules (Wales Version , 2020)’ the government offers guidance to local authorities and other bodies with compulsory purchase powers on using them pro-actively wherever appropriate to ensure gains are brought to residents and the business community.

“The intention is for acquiring authorities to strengthen their ability to use compulsory powers where thought necessary and justifiable in the public interest, albeit where possible after having sought to purchase by agreement,” explained Eifion Bibby, chartered surveyor at the Colwyn Bay office of Davis Meade Property Consultants.

“Land and property owners should be aware that a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) should only be used when there is a compelling case in the public interest and after attempts to acquire the land by agreement have failed.

“The guidance says there must be clear evidence the public benefit in the development scheme will outweigh the private owner’s loss,” he said.

The decision-making process on any conflicts arising lies with Welsh Ministers who have to take a balanced view between the intentions of the acquiring authority and the concerns of those with an interest in the land earmarked for compulsorily acquisition and the wider public interest.

Where there is likely to be a wide public interest in a CPO, there may be the need for a cost/benefit study to demonstrate that the economic benefits outweigh environmental and/or community impact.

“Compulsory acquisition schemes should be clearly described by the acquiring authority so that the public can see the benefits of the scheme and that it is in their interest,” said Eifion.

“It must be clearly apparent that the CPO is necessary to progress a scheme in the public interest and will only be used where acquisition by agreement cannot be reached.

“Authorities are urged to communicate and work with affected parties from the outset to reduce the worry and expense of possible lengthy disputes.

“Agreeing to fund landowners' reasonable costs of negotiation or other costs and expenses likely to be incurred in advance of the process of acquisition can build relations and help the scheme proceed more smoothly.

“We are advising anyone with land or property that might be affected to seek professional guidance at the earliest opportunity ” he added

For more information contact Eifion Bibby at DMPC on 01492 510360, email eifionbibby@dmpcuk.com

 

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