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Housing and Regeneration Act 2008

Schedule 2 – Acquisition of land

919.Schedule 2 makes further provision regarding the acquisition of land and new rights over land by the HCA.

920.It applies the Acquisition of Land Act 1981 (with modifications) to the acquisition of land and new rights over land. The 1981 Act sets out the standard compulsory purchase procedure, which is applied in the case of most compulsory acquisitions. In summary:

  • the 1981 Act contains requirements as to publicity and notification, to enable any person to submit an objection to the Secretary of State within the specified period;

  • a statutory objector is a “qualifying person” on whom section 12 of the 1981 Act requires notice to be served and includes owners, leaseholders, tenants and occupiers of any land in the compulsory purchase order, and any other person having a right to claim compensation for interference with rights they enjoy over land, or who are likely to be entitled to make a claim for compensation for “injurious affection” (decrease in value of retained land as a result of the acquisition and proposed use of the land which is being acquired);

  • if a relevant objection is made by a person with a statutory interest in the land, a public local inquiry will generally be held. It is also open to the statutory objectors to agree to their objections being considered through the written representations procedure;

  • an inspector will prepare a report and the Secretary of State will then consider the findings of the report and the inspector’s recommendation when deciding whether or not to confirm a compulsory purchase order;

  • where an order is confirmed, the usual compensation regime will apply, which is linked to the value of the land being acquired and may also include compensation for disturbance and other losses and, for example, legal costs in preparing a compensation claim.

921.Various statutory bodies (including the Urban Regeneration Agency under the 1993 Act) have the power to acquire land which is, or forms part of, a common, open space or allotment. The Acquisition of Land Act 1981 makes separate procedural provision in relation to such land. A compulsory purchase order in respect of any of these types of land will be subject to special parliamentary procedure (which ensures a high level of parliamentary scrutiny) unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that equivalent land has been given in exchange for such land or that certain other limited circumstances (for example, that the land area does not exceed a set maximum) apply. Provision is also made in respect of notice requirements, an opportunity for objections to be made and a power for the Secretary of State to hold a public local inquiry.

922.Part 1 of the Schedule makes provision for the extinguishment of private rights of way or rights in relation to apparatus and for apparatus to vest in the HCA (subject to any agreement between the HCA and the person in whom the right or apparatus is vested). Compensation is payable to any person who suffers loss as a result of the extinguishment of any such right or the vesting of any apparatus. These provisions do not apply to any right vested in, or apparatus belonging to, statutory undertakers for the purpose of carrying on their undertaking.

923.Schedule 2 also ensures that following a compulsory acquisition the usual regime for compensation applies. The compulsory acquisition legislation applied by Schedule 2 contains various provisions for the recovery or award of costs. Where any provision is made in respect of costs, or where there is a power to make an order in respect of costs, such provision would be governed by usual administrative law principles of reasonableness.

924.Part 2 of Schedule 2 also applies Part 1 (except section 31) of the Compulsory Purchase Act 1965 to the acquisition of land by agreement (so far as applicable).

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