Exercising Compulsory Purchase Powers & Taking Possession

Compulsory purchase powers are exercised by the service of either a Notice to Treat or a General Vesting Declaration.

A Notice to Treat (NTT), gives at least 3 months’ notice that the authority wants to acquire property and asks for a claim for compensation. Following a subsequent Notice of Entry, possession is assured by the specified date, even if compensation has not been finally agreed. However, title in the land does not transfer until compensation has been settled.

A General Vesting Declaration (GVD) transfers the ownership of property to the acquiring authority on the date it takes effect (at least 3 months after it is served). This is irrespective of any agreement of compensation.

aspireCP have direct experience of managing service of over 15,000 such notices. As a result we have well-established systems, processes & flow charts, governance and reporting methodology to ensure notices are served accurately and within statutory time-frames.

More importantly we know effective ways to minimise risk in exercising powers and taking possession of land. This requires working to undertakings and assurances, effective landowner engagement, use of chattel notices and, where necessary, the Court Sheriff. The manner in which an acquiring authority terminates its own leases can also increase risk under the Compensation Code or give rise to programme delays and also requires careful management.