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October 19 - Newsletter

Compulsory Purchase Association
Published by · 24 October 2019
Dear All,

Outgoing message from the Chair, Jonathan Stott

Its October, which means out with the old and in with the new!

It’s been a pleasure to serve as your chair for the year and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in the role. The year has rushed by and, although the dreaded B word has limited the amount of Parliamentary time available to discuss further compulsory purchase reform, it’s not stopped us, as an Association, progressing with various projects and accomplishing a number of notable achievements, including:

Reform
  • The temporary possession working group has started to shape the Association’s views about how the temporary possession regulations – required prior to the provisions of the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 coming in to force - should be drafted.
  • The working group focusing on early independent valuations – an idea first proposed at our Law Reform Lecture in 2016 and put forward as a recommendation within the first National Infrastructure Assessment last year – is progressing towards making a proposal to MHCLG about how such valuations could work in practice. This is part of a wider focus on ensuring effective early engagement takes place prior to all CPOs being made.
  • The CPA’s Land Compensation Claims Protocol, adopted last year, has continued to be promoted and has been referenced by the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber). Further work to promote the Protocol is planned for 2020.
  • The working group looking at the issue of negative equity has met with UK Finance to progress proposals for the introduction of a new voluntary code for mortgage lenders, titled ‘Compulsory Purchase of dwellings where Mortgage Customers are in Negative Equity’, which would help to overcome the difficult issues that can arise.
  • On the issue of land value capture we met with the previous Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse, earlier this year. He was receptive to our case that CPO should not be used as an LVC mechanism, and MHCLG seem committed to allowing the 2016 and 2017 legislation to bed in before considering whether the Rule 2 definition of market value requires re-drafting to further limit the prospect of hope value being paid. As an Association, we maintain it does not.
  • Just this week we’ve submitted a response to MHCLG on their consultation relation to the proposed repealing of Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, which we believe could have unintended consequences for CPO promoters.
  • Members of the CPA have been involved in a working group set up by MHCLG to produce replacement CPO booklets (which will be in electronic form) for those which were published by what was the ODPM in 2004. It’s hoped they will be issued by MHCLG next year.
I’m hugely grateful to all of the Chairs and members of the Association’s various working groups, but special thanks this year is reserved for Charles Clarke, who has expertly chaired groups focused on temporary possession, early independent valuations, and amending the compensation claim form. Charles has undertaken far more than his fair share of the workload and his inputs have been invaluable.

I’d also like to thank Tom Winter of MHCLG, who has worked closely with us during the past 2 years, and who we look forward to having a close working relationship with going forwards.

Events
  • We hosted well over 300 people at our annual dinner in February, and I understand we’re set for a record number of guests next year too, which underlines the popularity of that event.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed hosting this year’s conference, which saw record numbers in attendance and the CPA embracing new technology, using the Slido app for the first time.
  • The Law Reform Lecture attracted a record attendance this year. Following on from Mary Cook’s paper we’ve established a working group focusing on blight, with a remit for considering the need for reform in that area.
  • We held our inaugural telecoms conference, with over 100 delegates in attendance. Plans are already in place for a second event in 2020.
  • CPA Futures, with Anthony McNamee providing excellent leadership, held more events than ever before, and I’m delighted to report that the future of the CP profession seems to be in rude health!
  • The excellent attendance at last year’s AGM – the first time any of our four annual events has been held outside of London – has paved the way for next year’s conference to be held in Birmingham too. CPA is not a London-centric Association, and I’m sure the support we’ll see for next year’s conference will serve to demonstrate that we’re right to take more major events ‘on the road’ in the future.

Thank you
Both Sara Fowler and Keith Murray are stepping off the CPA’s Board this year, and I’d like to thank them both for the excellent contributions they have both made.

Sara has served on the Board for three years and, as well as playing an active part in various working groups, she was instrumental in the Association’s move to becoming a Limited company.

Keith has served on the Association’s Board for over ten years, and served as Chair in 2011/12. Keith is widely respected not only as one of the country’s most knowledgeable CP practitioners, but also as one of the nicest people you could wish to meet.

I’m sure all members join me in wishing Sara and Keith all the best for the future, and in thanking them for their service.

New Chair
My chairmanship ends at the close of the AGM. With no contest for incoming Chair, Rebecca Clutten will assume office. I wish her every success and will be an active and supportive past chair. She will email you with her agenda after the AGM.

AGM
Tuesday 22nd October 2019
Venue: Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Exchange House, Primrose Street, London, EC2A 2EG
Timings: 5:45PM Registration, Start 6:00pm, Drinks Reception 7:00pm

The CPA’s new Board and Vice Chair will be announced at the AGM, and we will also be voting on amendments proposed to the CPA’s Articles.

I’m delighted that we will also be hearing from Lord Carnwath, whose Law Commission reports circa 20 years had a major influence in the setting up and character of the CPA. If you’ve not already booked your place, you can still do so here.

Member fees
The cost of annual membership of the CPA will increase from January 2020. Member fees will increase from £60 to £75, Corporate Membership from £45 to £57.50 and our retired members from £30 to 37.50 (all are subject to VAT). Student membership will remain free.

The increase in membership fees is only the second such increase since the CPA was formed, and follows a recent review of the benefits of membership. Alongside announcing the new fee rates, I am pleased to confirm the following points:
  • There will be no increase in the cost of attending the dinner or conference in 2020.
  • The AGM and Tony Johnson Memorial Lecture will remain a free event.
  • Members will continue to receive a significant discount on attendance at the annual conference and Law Reform Lecture. Early bird discounts will continue to be applied and the best price is always at launch.
  • We are intending to increase the number of regional events, all of which will be free to members.
  • We have increased the number of CPA Future events and they will continue to be free to attend for CPA members.
  • CPA Scotland has established a strong training programme during the past 3 years, and the Welsh steering group is embarking on engagement events to promote the Welsh Government’s CPO reforms from the Welsh Government.
  • Wales and Scotland are looking to have home nation showcase events that are similar to the annual CPA National conference.
  • We have increased the regularity of member newsletters, which among other things highlight relevant consultations, legislation and case law, as well as informing members of events.
I believe the increased annual fee offers excellent value for money and I hope all members will continue to support the Association, and take advantage of the free events and discounts that membership offers.

Technical matters
To assist in developing the CPA’s reform agenda the Board requests that members provide examples of the following:
  • Mental health or other health issues suffered by CP claimants (or those threatened by CP), arising or exacerbated by the use of CPO powers. We are in discussions with a number of promoters on how to mitigate such issues.
  • Cases where claimants have been in negative equity at the valuation date, and the difficulties that has caused / how mortgage lenders have deal with the situation.
  • Cases of acquiring authorities taking advantage of the provisions of Section 4 of the Land Compensation Act 1961 to pressurise claimants into accepting unfair compensation by making “take it or leave it offers”. This issue was raised by Martin Rodger QC in his keynote presentation at this year’s annual conference; we are subsequently considering whether section 4 creates a disproportionate deterrent to the pursuit of meritorious claims and is being inappropriately exploited by acquiring authorities. If we receive evidence of this being the case the Association is likely to consider calling for the abolition of the rule.
Any examples that can be provided should be sent to 'cpa@compulsorypurchaseassociation.org' and should be anonymised as appropriate.

International Conference
The CPA is hosting an international conference on land assembly on the 24th and 25th March 2020, in London. Full details are here. We are working with the International Rights of Way Association and expecting a number of international delegates, in addition to those who are speaking at the event.

It promises to be a highly valuable event for all CP and land assembly practitioners. Its focus is on best practice, and what the UK can learn from other jurisdictions. The Board is well aware of the value of this, with much of our reform agenda during the past decade having been driven by our learning experiences from the IRWA. We want members to be part of that process and this event is the first opportunity that many members will have to hear from peers working in different jurisdictions. The programme for the event is here.

A bit of history; the CPA used to have an annual drinks event, and for several years it was held at the House of Lords, under the patronage of Lord Kingsland. We haven’t been back for many years, but that event is returning at the end of day one of the International Summit. It will be an excellent networking event for delegates, members and their guests, and you can even purchase tickets for clients (even if they are not attending the summit).

You can book tickets for the Drinks reception here and the links below show the rates for the conference. Members can get significant discounts on the prices listed. You simply need to use the following codes:
  • Day 1 conference - use CPA21481 and get £90 discount- BOOK
  • Day 1 conference + House Of Lords reception - use CPA21486 and get £90 discount - BOOK
  • Day 2 conference - use CPA21482 and get £90 discount - BOOK
  • Day 1 & 2 conference - use CPA21483 and get £180 discount - BOOK
  • Full Package - use CPA21485 and get £155 discount - BOOK

And finally
Many thanks to all members for the support you have provided to me during the past 12 months. It’s been an honour to serve as Chair and I look forward to continuing to play an active role on the CPA’s Board this year and hopefully beyond.

Best Wishes,
Jonathan Stott,
CPA Chair
Soon to be past Chairman, but remains Mr CPO on Twitter!



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