Compulsory Purchase Specialist

Protecting Your Right to Fair Compensation

What is a Compulsory Purchase Order?

A Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) is a method of forced property acquisition where it would otherwise not be possible to purchase the property by agreement. What does compulsory purchase mean to the affected party ? A compulsory purchase order provides the right for the body with the compulsory purchase powers (known as an acquiring authority) to force the homeowner, business owner or landowner from their property on a set date without their agreement. The party whose property will be taken has no control over the date or the compensation the purchaser will pay for the property or business on that date. By it’s very name, it is a forced sale, a compulsory purchase, meaning the consent of the property owner is not required for the sale to go through. This could be a home, a business or land. The compulsory purchase of land is a land assembly tool used by various state and private bodies to assemble land of complex sites or large building and infrastructure projects. Without the necessary statutory powers needed to make a compulsory purchase, the forcible acquisition of land would be illegal but throughout the United Kingdom, following the correct procedure, compulsory purchase is legal.

When faced with the prospect of a compulsory purchase order, advisors will regularly frame the discussion around a body of legislation known within the profession as the Compulsory Purchase Code. It would be helpful if all the legislation relating to compulsory purchase was captured in one single compulsory purchase act, sadly it is a lot more complex. The compulsory purchase code it is not a neat book with a table of contents and a helpful index. It is a catch all phrase for legislation, case law and common law rules relating to compulsory purchase. The current law of compulsory purchase is a patchwork of diverse rules over more than 100 years.  

In addition to the Compulsory Purchase Code a lot of the negotiations around compulsory purchase are dictated by general principles. What are the general principles of compulsory purchase ? The first is that you should be left in the same position after your property has been purchased, in monetary terms, as you were before. A second principle is one of reasonableness, this relates predominantly to businesses affected by compulsory purchase and the need to act as a reasonable business person would when dealing with the CPO. A third is fairness which is difficult for anyone to understand when you are forced from your home or business and in order to get close to an end position which is fair you need to take compensation advice early.     

Compulsory Purchase Guidance

What should you do when you are faced with a compulsory purchase order ? When you begin your search for compulsory purchase guidance your first port of call is a compulsory purchase surveyor or CPO surveyor. You may also need to get a solicitor involved in relation to objecting to an order or specific points of law but early compulsory purchase guidance should come from a surveyor first and foremost. A useful source of CPO compensation guidance is set out in booklets prepared by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minster which can be found through the links at the bottom of this page.

There is no quick answer as to how much compensation you get for a compulsory purchase order. Compulsory purchase compensation, sometimes referred to as CPO compensation is the compensation paid to property owners and occupiers impacted by a compulsory purchase order. Each case is assessed individually and a common phrase is that each claim is looked at on a ‘case by case basis’. There are common items consistent in every claim including the market value of the property or land acquired, statutory loss payments, disturbance and professional fees. Disturbance is any cost or loss of profit incurred by the affected party as a result of the forced sale of land.

However there are differences in the assessment of CPO compensation owed to residential property owners and commercial property owners. There are also differences in the assessment of compensation paid to leaseholders, freeholders, occupiers of property and investors. However the broad ‘heads of claim’ are the same. Affected parties are entitled to the market value of land or property acquired, the reduction in value of land retained but impacted by the CPO, costs brought about by the CPO, loss of profits caused by the CPO, legal and surveying fees and costs to reinvest in alternative property. In order to ascertain the level of compensation you are entitled to is important to take early CPO compensation guidance from a compulsory purchase surveyor.

There is also no easy answer as to when is the best time to do a deal or reach a settlement when faced with a compulsory purchase. There is an argument that early negotiations in advance of the making of a compulsory purchase order can produce better results as there will be an opportunity for the purchaser to save time and fees relating to the CPO, these savings can be used to increase offers. However there are countless examples where offers in advance of the CPO are low and a sale would not be advised. The following blog may be familiar to anyone visiting the site currently in the midst of negotiations in advance of a CPO. The Art of the Deal – Don’t be Bullied. The key is to take early advice from a CPO surveyor.

The Role of Your Compulsory Purchase Surveyor

Tom Olden acts as a surveyor/valuer on behalf of people affected by compulsory purchase (known as claimants). The role of a compulsory purchase surveyor is to advise claimants on the entire compulsory purchase process from the date the first letter comes through your door, to the date the acquiring authority takes possession of the property, through to the date the final compensation settlement is agreed. Tom will advise on what compensation a claimant is entitled to, including the property value, statutory payments and additional compensation. He will negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive the best compensation settlement possible. Tom will assist with the search for relocation or reinvestment property and act as an expert witness if the case goes to Tribunal. Advise on the appropriate way to object to a CPO.

“My role is to take the stress (as much as possible) from the people affected by this unique occurrence and keep them informed every step of the way. More importantly my role is to act on behalf of the claimant to ensure they are fully and fairly compensated for their forced sale of their property or business.”  Tom Olden MRICS



Why Use Olden Property Consulting

Tom set up Olden Property Consulting so that claimants are provided with the same level of advice that is afforded to acquiring authorities. Tom is passionate about ensuring claimants receive fair compensation and negotiates tirelessly on their behalf to ensure they do.

Tom deals with every case personally. Therefore, claimants who instruct Olden Property Consulting know their claim is being handled by a highly experienced compulsory purchase surveyor, it will not be passed to a trainee or recently qualified colleague. Consistency of advice and knowledge of the history of a case is invaluable. One point of contact – one source of knowledge throughout the process.

Tom is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a Registered Valuer and is a member of the Compulsory Purchase Association. He has been advising people affected by compulsory purchase since 2006 when he worked on the land assembly for the London Olympics. Since then he has advised countless homeowners, small business owners as well as national retailers and corporates affected by CPO.

If your home or business is impacted by a compulsory purchase order please get in touch. You can contact us either through our Contact Page,  email us at info@oldenpropertyconsulting.com  or call us on 020 7112 8073. We would be happy to have a 30-minute free of charge discussion about your case and suggest steps you need to take.

Further Information Relating to the Compulsory Purchase Process 

Communities and Local Government – Compulsory Purchase Procedure

Compensation to Business Owners and Occupiers

Compensation to Residential Owners and Occupiers


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