Government moves to simplify compulsory purchase

The government has introduced new measures to simplify and speed up the compulsory purchase process, which it says will make it easier for councils and other bodies to  acquire land for development and infrastructure projects.

It has modernised the statute surrounding compulsory purchase with more straightforward terminology, which a government statement said would “provide a clearer basis for identifying market value, ensuring negotiations on compensation can proceed with more speed and certainty.”

In addition a standard claim form has been introduced in a bid to avoid disputes where compensation is inadequate or paid late due to inadequate information. However, the use of the form is not mandatory. Commenting on the move, housing and planning Minister Alok Sharma said: “This government is committed to making compulsory purchase simpler, fairer and faster. 

“That is why the measures we are introducing include a clearer way to assess compensation - replacing obscurely worded legislation and over 100 years of confusing case law.

“We are also introducing a new form to make it easier for claimants to get the compensation they are entitled to, and help acquiring authorities get the information they need to assess claims more quickly.”

Compulsory purchase is the mechanism used by a range of bodies, including local authorities, to acquire land for a range of development and infrastructure projects such as new roads, rail, regeneration.

The government said that the implementation of measures in the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 had also commenced and will make compulsory purchase “clearer, fairer and faster”. This includes clarifying the way compensation is calculated.

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