Notice before taking entry - Compulsory Purchase Association

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Notice Before Taking Entry









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What is the Problem
Under section 11 Compulsory Purchase Act 1965, occupiers may only have a minimum of 14 days to relocate on service of a notice to treat and entry. With a General Vesting Declaration (GVD) entry can be taken a minimum of 28 days after execution of the GVD. Although with a GVD the claimant gets 2 months early warning between publication of the notice of intention to make a GVD and  the acquiring authority  actually making the GVD, this period provides the claimant with no certainty that a GVD will be served on the claimant, until 28 days before they may have to vacate. If the claimant incurs relocation costs earlier than the notice to treat/deemed notice to treat then they are at risk of not recovering such costs if such powers are never exercised. It is also possible those costs will not be seen as being reasonably incurred. Some authorities and some Acts and statutory instruments providing compulsory acquisition powers  extend these minimum notice periods. However, doing so materially increases risk of new interests coming to light before entry. The quality of data used to prepare the notices relies in responses from third parties and if inaccuracies discovered the day before possession then it doubles the time required to take possession. Only if through mistake or inadvertence a notice to treat was not served and a new interest is discovered after entry, then the acquiring authority protection by virtue of S22 of the CPA 1965. The current system neither benefits the claimant nor acquiring authority and unnecessarily increases cost, programme and risk.

Aim
Harmonise the process for taking entry following compulsory powers becoming available

What We Seek
Focused attention on this issue in the light of the above.

Notes from Discussion
Agreed that there is a need for consistency between the different notices and 14 days is a very short time. OK to increase the notice period to 3 months but should have some protection built in to take account of situations where there has been a material change in circumstances. If diligent enquiries were properly made before the notice of entry was served the AA should not have to reserve and wait another 3 months if there has been a subsequent change in terms of interested parties. Note that there may need to be provision for early access to undertake works before the transfer is completed.

Next Steps/Actions
Primary legislation required in next major reform package

Under section 11 Compulsory Purchase Act 1965, occupiers may only have a minimum of 14 days to relocate on service of a notice to treat and entry.

With a General Vesting Declaration(GVD) the commitment only when the GVD is executed and entry can be taken a minimum of 28 days thereafter. Although with a GVD the claimant gets 2 months early warning between publication of the notice of intention to make a GVD and  the acquiring authority  actually making the GVD, this period provides the claimant with no certainty that a GVD will be served on the claimant, until 28 days before they may have to vacate.

If the claimant incurs  relocation costs earlier than the notice to treat/deemed notice to treat then they are at risk of not recovering such costs if such powers are never exercised. It is also possible those costs will not be seen as being reasonably incurred. Some authorities and some Acts and statutory instruments providing compulsory acquisition powers extend these minimum notice periods. However, doing so materially increases risk of new interests coming to light before entry. The quality of data used to prepare the notices relies in responses from third parties and if inaccuracies discovered the day before possession then it doubles the time required to take possession.

Only if through mistake or inadvertence a notice to treat was not served and a new interest is discovered after entry, then the  acquiring authority protection by virtue of S22 of the CPA 1965. The current system neither benefits the claimant nor acquiring authority and unnecessarily increases cost, programme and risk.

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