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Acquisition of Land Act 1981

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Part I E+W General

1 Application of Act.E+W

(1)In this Act “compulsory purchase” means a compulsory purchase of land, being—

(a)a compulsory purchase to which this Act applies by virtue of any other enactment, whether or not passed or made before this Act, or

(b)a compulsory purchase under an enactment specified in subsection (2) below.

(2)The enactments referred to in subsection (1)(b) above are—

  • section 2 of the M1Metropolitan Police Act 1886,

  • section 1(3) of the M2Military Lands Act 1892,

  • sections 25(1) and 39(1) of the M3Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908,

  • section 5(1) of the M4Development and Road Improvement Funds Act 1909 as it applies to acquisition by local authorities (as defined in section 7(1) of this Act) or the Secretary of State,

  • section 4 of the M5Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1926,

  • . . . F1

  • [F2section 530(1) of the Education Act 1996],

  • . . . F1

(3)In this section “enactment” includes any statutory instrument.

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Amendments (Textual)

F2Words in s. 1(2) substituted (1.11.1996) by 1996 c. 56, ss. 582(1), 583(2), Sch. 37 Pt. I para. 50 (with ss. 1(4))

Marginal Citations

Compulsory purchaseE+W

2 Procedure for authorisation.E+W

(1)The authorisation of a compulsory purchase shall be conferred by an order (in this Act called a “compulsory purchase order”).

(2)A compulsory purchase order authorising a compulsory purchase by an authority other than a Minister shall be made by that authority and submitted to and confirmed by the confirming authority in accordance with Part II of this Act.

(3)A compulsory purchase order authorising a compulsory purchase by a Minister shall be made by the Minister in accordance with Schedule 1 to this Act.

3 Minerals.E+W

Schedule 2 to this Act (exception of minerals from purchases etc.) shall have effect.

4 Assessment of compensation.E+W

(1)In relation to a compulsory purchase the M6Land Compensation Act 1961 shall have effect subject to the provisions of this section.

(2)The Lands Tribunal shall not take into account any interest in land, or any enhancement of the value of any interest in land, by reason of any building erected, work done or improvement or alteration made, whether on the land purchased or on any other land with which the claimant is, or was at the time of the erection, doing or making of the building, works, improvement or alteration, directly or indirectly concerned, if the Lands Tribunal is satisfied that the creation of the interest, the erection of the building, the doing of the work, the making of the improvement or the alteration, as the case may be, was not reasonably necessary and was undertaken with a view to obtaining compensation or increased compensation.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C3S. 4 modified (13. 2. 1992) by Severn Bridges Act 1992 (c. 3), s. 2(6), Sch. 2 Pt. II para.5

S. 4 modified (28.7.1998) by 1998 c. iv, s. 9 (with s. 41)

C5S. 4 extended (18.12.1996) by 1996 c. 61, s. 4, Sch. 4 Pt. III para. 16

Marginal Citations

SupplementalE+W

5 Local inquiries.E+W

(1)For the purposes of the execution of his powers and duties under this Act, a Minister may cause to be held such public local inquiries as are directed by this Act and such other public local inquiries as he may think fit.

(2)Subsections (2) and (3) of section 250 of the M7Local Government Act 1972 (giving of evidence on inquiries) shall apply to a public local inquiry held in pursuance of this Act.

(3)In relation to—

(a)a proposed acquisition of land by an authority other than a Minister, or

(b)the proposed extinction under Part VI of this Act of a right of way over land acquired or proposed to be acquired by an authority other than a Minister,

subsections (4) and (5) of the said section 250 (defraying of costs of inquiries) shall apply to a public local inquiry held in pursuance of this Act.

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Marginal Citations

6 Service of documents.E+W

(1)Any notice or other document required or authorised to be served under this Act may be served on any person either by delivering it to him, or by leaving it at his proper address, or by post, so however that the document shall not be duly served by post unless it is sent by registered letter, or by the recorded delivery service.

(2)Any such document required or authorised to be served upon an incorporated company or body shall be duly served if it is served upon the secretary or clerk of the company or body.

(3)For the purposes of this section and of section 7 of the M8Interpretation Act 1978 the proper address of any person upon whom any such document as aforesaid is to be served shall, in the case of the secretary or clerk of any incorporated company or body, be that of the registered or principal office of the company or body, and in any other case be the last known address of the person to be served:

Provided that where the person to be served has furnished an address for service, his proper address for the purposes aforesaid shall be the address furnished.

(4)If the authority or Minister having jurisdiction to make the order in connection with which the document is to be served is satisfied that reasonable inquiry has been made and that it is not practicable to ascertain the name or address of an owner, lessee or occupier of land on whom any such document as aforesaid is to be served, the document may be served by addressing it to him by the description of “owner”, “lessee” or “occupier” of the land (describing it) to which it relates, and by delivering it to some person on the [F3land or, if there is no person on the land to whom it may be delivered, by leaving it or a copy of it on or near the land].

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C7S. 6 applied (13. 2. 1992) by British Railways Act 1992 (c. i), s.17(2).

C8S. 6 applied (with modifications) (18.12.1996) by 1996 c. 61, s. 2, Sch. 2 paras. 6(8), 7(8)

S. 6 applied (with modifications) (21.7.1994) by 1994 c. xi, s. 23(2)(with s. 39)

S. 6 applied (with modifications) (21.7.1994) by 1994 c. xv, s. 22(b)(with s. 47)

Marginal Citations

InterpretationE+W+S+N.I.

7 Interpretation.E+W

(1)In this Act, except where the context otherwise requires—

  • acquiring authority”, in relation to a compulsory purchase, means the Minister, local authority or other person who may be authorised to purchase the land compulsorily,

  • compulsory purchase order” means an order under section 2(1) above,

  • confirming authority”, in relation to a compulsory purchase, means, where the acquiring authority is not a Minister, the Minister having power to authorise the acquiring authority to purchase the land compulsorily,

  • land”—

(a)includes messuages, tenements and hereditaments, and

(b)in relation to compulsory purchase under any enactment, includes anything falling within any definition of the expression in that enactment,

  • [F4local authority” means—

[F5F6(a)a billing authority or a precepting authority, as defined in section 69 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992;

[F5(a1)the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority;]

(aa)F7. . .a combined fire authority, as defined in section 144 of the M9Local Government Finance Act 1988;]

(b)a levying body within the meaning of section 74 of that Act;

(c)a body as regards which section 75 of that Act applies;

(d)any joint board or joint committee if all the constituent authorities are such authorities as are described in paragraphs (a) to (c); and

(e)the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple or the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple,]

  • National Trust” means the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty incorporated by the M10National Trust Act 1907,

  • owner” in relation to any land, means a person, other than a mortgagee not in possession, who is for the time being entitled to dispose of the fee simple of the land, whether in possession or in reversion, and includes also a person holding or entitled to the rents and profits of the land under a lease or agreement, the unexpired term whereof exceeds three years [F8and a person who would have power to sell and convey or release the land to the acquiring authority if a compulsory purchase order were operative],

  • prescribed”: see subsection (2) below.

[F9“universal service provider” has the same meaning as in the Postal Services Act 2000; and references to the provision of a universal postal service shall be construed in accordance with that Act.]

(2)Anything which, by Part II or III of this Act, or Schedule 1 or 3 of this Act, is required or authorised to be prescribed shall be prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State by statutory instrument.

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Subordinate Legislation Made

P1s. 7 power exercised by S.I. 1982/6, 1990/613

Amendments (Textual)

F6S. 7(1): in definition of “local authority” paras. (a)(aa) substituted (2.11.1992) for para. (a) by Local Government Finance Act 1992 (c. 14), s. 117(1), Sch. 13 para. 52; S.I. 1992/2454, art. 2

F7Words in definition in s. 7(1) repealed (1.4.1995) by 1994 c. 29, s. 93, Sch. 9 Pt. I; S.I. 1994/3262, art. 4, Sch.

F8Words in s. 7 (definition of “owner”) inserted (25.9.1991) by Planning and Compensation Act 1991 (c. 34, SIF 28:1), s. 70, Sch. 15 para. 9; S.I. 1991/2067, art. 3

F9S. 7(1): definition of “universal service provider” inserted (26.3.2001 subject to art. 1(3) of the amending S.I.) by S.I. 2001/1149, arts. 1, 54(2)

Marginal Citations

M101907 c. cxxxvi

8 Statutory undertakers.E+W

(1)In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, “statutory undertakers” means—

(a)any person authorised by any enactment to construct, work or carry on—

(i)any railway, light railway, tramway, road transport, water transport, canal or inland navigation undertaking, or

(ii)any dock, harbour, pier or lighthouse undertaking, or

(iii)any undertaking for the supply of . . . F10, . . . F11, [F12or hydraulic power], or

(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F13 the Civil Aviation Authority [F14or a person who holds a licence under Chapter I of Part I of the Transport Act 2000 (to the extent that the person is carrying out activities authorised by the licence)], or

(c)[F15a universal service provider in connection with the provision of a universal postal service] . . . F16,

  • and in this subsection “enactment” means any Act or any order or scheme made under or confirmed by an Act.

[F17(1ZA)The undertaking of a person who holds a licence under Chapter I of Part I of the Transport Act 2000 shall not be considered to be a statutory undertaking for the purposes of this Act except to the extent that it is the person’s undertaking as licence holder; and references in this Act to the person’s undertaking shall be construed accordingly.]

[F18(1A)The undertaking of a universal service provider so far as relating to the provision of a universal postal service shall be taken to be his statutory undertaking for the purposes of this Act; and references in this Act to his undertaking shall be construed accordingly.]

(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F19

(3)In this Act “the appropriate Minister” means, in relation to any statutory undertakers, the Secretary of State.

(4)If any question arises under this Act which Minister is the appropriate Minister, the question shall be determined by the Treasury.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F14Words in s. 8(1)(b) inserted (21.12.2001) by S.I. 2001/4050, art. 2, Sch. para 5(a)(i)

F15Words in s. 8(1)(c) substituted (26.3.2001 subject to art. 1(3) of the amending S.I.) by S.I. 2001/1149, arts. 1(3), 54(3)(a)

F18S. 8(1A) inserted (26.3.2001 subject to art. 1(3) of the amending S.I.) by S.I. 2001/1149, arts. 1(3), 54(3)(b)

9 Land held inalienably.E+W

For the removal of doubt it is hereby declared that any power conferred—

(a)under this Act, or

(b)by or under the Acquisition of Land (Authorisation Procedure) Act 1946, or any enactment passed before the commencement of that Act,

to purchase land compulsorily is, except in so far as any express provision of any such enactment restricts the exercise of the power, exercisable notwithstanding any other enactment providing that the land shall be inalienable.

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