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Review of Compulsory Purchase imperative, says CLA


The CLA today (6 October) said the Conservatives confirmation that the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail line from London to Birmingham will branch off to Manchester and Leeds makes it imperative for the Government to review compulsory purchase laws.

The Association urged landowners significantly affected by the Y shaped network to consider applying to the Exceptional Hardship Scheme to buy their property now at its full value before it is devalued by the rail line. 

CLA President William Worsley said: The Exceptional Hardship Scheme to purchase properties blighted by the High Speed 2 line is only temporary and once the route is confirmed claimants can only rely on conditions of sale under a blight notice. Alternatively, they could wait for the compulsory acquisition under a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) but many CPOs are wholly inadequate.

The CLA has lobbied for many years to change the blight and compulsory purchase laws. Ten years ago, the Government recognised there was a problem and set up the Compulsory Purchase Policy Review which recommended a whole range of reforms to make the system fairer but these have never been implemented.

Mr Worsley added: The onset of HS2 now makes a fundamental review of CPO laws imperative. We believe that the Government should include a duty of care to people whose land is acquired in the national interest.

The CLA believes the Compulsory Purchase Laws are inadequate because the laws don’t include the necessary “accommodation works”, that is, access points to cross or join the road or rail, underpasses and bridges to get across the line put through the middle of the farm or estate and noise and visual barriers to reduce impact.

A blight notice is a legal notice to buy a property that an owner/occupier can serve on the authority responsible for a public development such as a new railway line which affects the value of a home or business.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has around 35,000 members.

As a membership organisation, the CLA supports landowners by advising them on how best to protect and maximise their asset: the land. We are dedicated to supporting landowners and their businesses. Our success is measured by how effectively we do that. We have a team of experts in London and a regional structure able to give local support.

We have been looking after the interests of our members, as well as promoting the positive aspects of land ownership, land management and rural business activities for the past 100 years. CLA members own or manage approximately half the rural land in England and Wales, and the resulting expertise puts us in a unique position to formulate policies and lobby effectively.

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