Private property compulsory acquisition

This page explains how compulsory acquisition may affect you and what your rights are.

What are compulsory purchase and statutory rights?

This is when the government, local council or utility company has the legal right to buy or take rights over your private property if it falls within a public or private construction project such as:

  • airport expansions
  • housing developments
  • electricity pylons and cables
  • flood defence works
  • sewer, water or gas pipe schemes
  • rail or road building projects

Different compulsory purchase or statutory powers are needed to implement the above schemes. For example, water pipes are laid under statutory rights under the Water Industry Act 1991 and a road bypass will have its own compulsory purchase order through the Acquisition of Land Act 1981.

In all cases, the owners and occupiers of the properties to be acquired or affected by the scheme will be served notices, with differing expiry times. All the schemes provide compensation to owners and occupiers directly affected by the scheme.

Further information

The Department for Communities and Local Government publish a series of free booklets about the subject:

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors also publish a free booklet

For further information, please contact: 

  • tel: 01302 737639
Last updated: 04 February 2021 11:39:21