Compulsory Purchase and Compensation

Review of the laws around compulsory purchase and compensation

Earlier this year the Government announced it has asked the Law Commission to review the existing laws around compulsory purchase in relation to major infrastructure projects (which here in Kent includes projects such as the proposed Lower Thames Crossing).

The Department for Levelling up Housing and Communities is behind the review. In its White Paper published 2022 “Levelling up the United Kingdom’ there is a commitment to enhance compulsory purchase powers. There are currently concerns regarding the law around compulsory purchase which hasn’t been reviewed for nearly 20 years and whether it is fragmented, hard to access and in need of modernisation.

The proposed review will look at the need for compulsory purchase to be ‘effective, consistent and clear’ for landowners and the acquiring local authority. Local authorities will find their powers more effective to manage. The process is likely to be faster with a fairer system for assessing compensation.

The review is due to start this year and will include a review of the 2003/4 Law Commission reports as well as wider consultation with stakeholders and an analysis of the existing laws.

This review may be too late for some landowners who are negotiating on current projects.

To discuss with our commercial team, contact Paul Burbidge