Section 40 – Method of vesting land
192.The compulsory purchase procedures under the Lands Clauses Acts as outlined in paragraphs 58 to 61 above provide for land to be vested in the acquiring authorised undertaker by means of a conveyance or in certain circumstances a notarial instrument executed by the authorised undertaker. Section 40 applies a further procedure that is available generally to vest land that has been compulsorily acquired.
193.Section 195 of and Schedule 15 to the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (c.8) apply to any Minister or any local or other public authority that is authorised to acquire land by means of a compulsory purchase order (called an acquiring authority). Where a compulsory purchase order has come into operation, the acquiring authority may execute a general vesting declaration (for which there is a prescribed form) vesting in themselves any of the land which they are authorised to acquire. A single declaration may relate to all or any of the land subject to compulsory purchase. Schedule 15 includes requirements as to the giving of prior notice and the date on which any declaration takes effect.
194.The effect of a general vesting declaration is to vest the land to which it relates in the acquiring authority. The making of the declaration has the same effect as service of a notice to treat in triggering the landowner’s right to claim compensation.
195.Subsection (1) applies this procedure to compulsory acquisition under the Act.
196.Paragraph 2 of Schedule 15 makes detailed provision for the giving of notice to trigger the vesting declaration procedure. Subsection (2) adopts this for the Act. The vesting declaration provisions will apply on publication of a notice that the Act has received Royal Assent, giving details about the general vesting declaration procedure and stating that compensation may be payable. Subsection (2) provides that such a notice may be given at any time after the Act comes into force. The requirements for publication and service referred to in subsection (2)(c) are for newspaper publication and service on landowners who previously received notice of the proposals.