Compulsory Purchase process
The Compulsory Purchase process
First thing to point out here is that there is no one size fits all. For a start, the mechanism will depend on what type of Compulsory acquisition is pursued. For example, a railway scheme is highly likely to be promoted under a different consenting regime than a Council Estate regeneration scheme.
The below timeline is indicative for an Estate Regeneration scheme, that being the most common type that we are involved with, albeit we can advise on others.
So when is the best time to do a deal?
This is a question we often get asked. The answer unfortunately is how long is a piece of string. The aim of course has to be to secure a fair deal. Some authorities will make fair offers quite early on in the process whilst others will wait till quite late on. Whilst Compulsory Purchase should always be a last resort, some authorities are far more willing to pursue powers than others.
The appropriate time to do a deal will vary according to the scheme, the relative negotiating strength, the acquiring authority, the market and a whole array of different interplaying factors. Where we represent large numbers of homeowners, we can often speed up the process of securing fair offers.
It is a myth though that waiting till the last moment to do a deal gets a better compensation settlement. Whilst that can be the case, normally the opposite applies.
The below timeline is indicative for Compulsory Purchase for an Estate Regeneration scheme promoted by a Council, where powers are granted. Negotiations for sales on Compulsory Purchase terms can often start very early on in the process. The vast majority of transactions on Compulsory Purchase terms are completed prior to an acquiring authority gaining Compulsory Purchase powers.
The final few stages can be rather unpleasant for homeowners. The Council would normally want to avoid them as well.