Reverse notice of entry

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For Practice > Bank for Consultations/ Reform Papers pages > Projects

Reverse Notice of Entry



What is the Problem
The interval between the formation of  a proposal to acquire land and the taking of possession by the acquiring authority or promoter, can have quite serious consequences to the affected claimant owner and/or occupier. Until possession of the relevant interest is taken by the authority, the following difficulties, among many, face the claimant. He cannot sensibly plan for or risk the incurring of costs on alternative premises, even where early relocation could well mitigate his losses, where there is no certainty as to when or if his interest will be acquired. He remains liable to pay rent under any lease he may hold notwithstanding that the effect of the proposals of the authority may be driving business away in the case of business premises. He is not entitled to an advance payment of compensation. In short, the claimant can face a long period of great uncertainty. If the claimant is entitled to serve a blight notice compelling the authority to acquire his interest, and that blight notice is accepted or upheld following any application to the Upper Tribunal, there is no satisfactory procedure by which the claimant can compel the authority to take possession, so as to address the problems identified above. If the claimant is not entitled to serve a blight, he cannot compel entry, so as to fix the valuation date and end any rental obligations, and compel the taking of possession even where a compulsory purchase order has been confirmed and a notice to treat has been served; the decision as to when possession shall be taken is one entirely for the authority. Indeed there are cases where a CPO has been confirmed, but no notice to treat has ever been served.
Fixing the date for entry, where a blight notice has been served, and in other cases, where a CPO or equivalent has been made, triggers a right to an advance payment, ends any rental obligations and fixes the valuation date. Thus rendering certain an otherwise uncertain period.

What We Seek
That there is statutory provision for a reverse notice of entry by which a claimant can compel an authority to take possession, so as to address and minimise the problems identified above. The right to serve a reverse notice of entry should be available in two cases. First, where a blight notice has been accepted or confirmed, and a deemed notice to treat has arisen. Second, where a CPO or equivalent has been confirmed and all or part of a claimant's land is thereby proposed to be compulsorily acquired. In the second case , there will have to run with the right of the owner to serve a reverse notice of entry, a right to serve a reverse notice to treat, where such a notice has not been served.

Notes from Discussion
Any AA acting responsibly should seek to preserve economic activity in its area and this is part of that objective. We do have a sophisticated process in place now for testing the "public interest" justification for the use of compulsory purchase powers so it is perfectly reasonable that we have a faster and more straight forward second stage once an order has been confirmed.

Next Steps/Actions
Primary legislation required in next major reform package.

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