October 2nd 2016
The law governing compulsory purchase is evolving, but may not be as bad as was feared. Landowners had been concerned that they may be forced to sell land below market price after ministers proposed allowing companies building large infrastructure projects to compulsorily buy additional land. However, the publication of the Neighbourhood Planning Bill in September 2016 removed this risk.
The Neighbourhood Planning Bill has still to become law, but it states that:
- It must be made clear that any land acquired under the new powers should be for redevelopment and regeneration. This removes the fear of these powers being used to acquire farmland or other previously undeveloped rural land.
- Any acquisition of land for housing development must be set out at the point the scheme is proposed and not added to the development at a later stage.
- The period in which the construction of housing on compulsory acquired land can commence is limited to five years after the major infrastructure project began construction.