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Compulsory Purchase

I worked on compulsory purchase orders (including appearing as advocate in CPO inquiries) in the 1970s when I was employed by Leeds City Council and when the key focus was 'slum clearance' under the Housing Acts.

The need to secure delivery of major regeneration schemes and infrastructure projects in the modern world involves addressing far more complex legal issues, many of which arise under European legislation, as well as the notoriously complex regime and case law relating to CPO compensation. This is another area where there could be scope for resolving matters by means of expert mediation. Indeed, the Upper Tribunal Lands Chamber (UTLC) advocates the use of this and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in its Practice Directions.

Examples of projects in which I have been involved include:

  • Acting for British Waterways Board (BWB) in successfully opposing the CPO made by Leeds Development Corporation for the Royal Armories development and urgently negotiating and completing a development agreement for this project. LDC sought to resolve the issue by agreement following receipt of BWB's evidence to the CPO inquiry;
  • Advising a substantial landowner/developer who owned land included in a CPO made by Manchester City Council to support a large retail-led regeneration scheme - my client had already obtained  planning permission for retail development on its part of the site and the objection was based on its willingness to cooperate with the Council and its preferred developer in the wider regeneration scheme underpinned by the CPO: a unilateral undertaking was submitted in support of this case and a very favourable CPO compensation settlement was ultimately secured;
  • Acting for a major retail landowner in opposing a CPO by Oldham MDC. A similar strategy was adopted to the preceding case (including the unilateral undetaking) - again, the case settled for a very substantiallly increased compensation figure;
  • Advising and acting for the London Borough of Islington in relation to the CPO made in respect of the Arsenal Stadium Regeneration Scheme, including drafting the order and relevant papers, assisting in the preparation of the evidence and other documents for the CPO inquiry and attending the CPO inquiry, at which Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC appeared for the Council; thereafter acting for the Council in implementing the confirmed CPO and dealing with UTLC proceedings to determine the compensation due to some of the claimants;
  • Advising the LDA on the CPO and site assembly strategy for the London Olympic bid development;
  • Advising English Partnerships and the North West Development Agency on the site assembly and CPO strategy for the Rochdale Kingsway Development;
  • Advising the London Borough of Barnet on the site assembly strategy and CPO issues for the Brent Cross and Cricklewood regeneration scheme before I left Eversheds and thereafter working with the Eversheds CPO team in the ongoing CPO issues relating to the implementation of that scheme;
  • Advising another firm of solicitors on CPO issues arising out of a central London regeneration scheme, including drafting an objection and correspondence with the acquiring authority, on the basis of which an advantageous settlement was agreed to enable the landowner client to sell its interest in the sheme.

Compulsory Purchase Case Studies

London Olympic Bid Planning Permissions

London Olympic Bid Planning Permissions
I advised the LDA from the outset on their strategy for securing planning permission and assembling the site for the London Olympics to underpin the London Olympic bid within a very short timescale.
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The original guru on planning and all things CPO was a guy called Paul Winter. He's since left Eversheds and set up on his own. I think he's the best planning lawyer/adviser in London.

Alison Nimmo CBE (former Director of Design and Regeneration at the Olympic Delivery Authority and currently Chief Executive at the Crown Estate).

Compulsory Purchase Case Studies