Last week, the Government published its National Infrastructure Strategy which sets out plans to transform UK infrastructure in order to level up the country, strengthen the Union and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Whilst there was, of course, tonnes of good infrastructure-related content to plough through, hidden away among it is some further government support for an important compulsory purchase reform that I and The Compulsory Purchase Association have been championing for a number of years.
Hidden away at the very end of the Government’s ‘Response to the National Infrastructure Assessment’ is:
“Recommendation 64: The government should provide greater certainty in compulsory purchase compensation negotiations by including independent valuations early in the process to be paid for by the acquiring authority by 2021.
The government partially endorses this recommendation.
1.208 The government supports the overall intent of this recommendation. Where land is subject to compulsory purchase, negotiations overcompensation can become entrenched. This may prolong the process, increasing costs for both acquiring authorities and claimants, particularly where claims need to be settled at the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber).
1.209 The government agrees that independent valuations, carried out at an early stage in the acquisition process, may help engender trust between parties and set more realistic expectations as to the amount of compensation owed. This would ultimately enable claims to be settled more swiftly.
1.210 Further consideration will need to be given to the potential costs and benefits of this proposal and how it might be implemented in practice. The government intends to publish proposals in the new year for consultation, including potential further reforms to the land compensation regime so it is fairer and easier to reach an agreement.”