Compulsory Purchase & Compensation

The team at Wilson Fearnall are are experts in all matters of compulsory purchase and compensation. Our team have worked on a broad range of projects across the UK, representing both land and property owners and acquiring authorities.

Compulsory Purchase

Where sufficient public benefit can be demonstrated, certain bodies can acquire land or rights in private property through the exercise of compulsory acquisition powers. Situations where one party is not a willing participant in a land or property transaction can create tensions between the property owners and the acquiring authority.

To ensure that the impact and disturbance caused by compulsory acquisition are minimized, it is important that the parties fully engage early in the process to ensure that any impacts are identified, explored, and mitigated as far as they can be, or that reasonable commercial compensation can be recovered.

The application of the law and principles of compulsory purchase is a complex area built on extensive legislation and case law from the last 150 years. If you are affected by, or involved with, a project, it is important to get specialist advice from the outset.

We advise on the impacts of compulsory acquisition to rural land and property owners, commercial and residential property owners and business owners.

We regularly deal with compensation claims involving works to new and existing infrastructure on road, rail, energy and commercial redevelopment schemes. We have expertise in assessing property values, formulating Severance and Injurious Affection claims and considering losses for any disturbance as a result of the scheme.

We are also able to assess the impact of operational schemes after completion, known as ‘Part 1 Claims’.

Our reasonable time charges for representing affected parties during a compulsory acquisition project can generally be recovered from the acquiring authority.

Examples of projects we have been involved with include:

  • HS2
  • Heathrow Airport 3rd Runway Expansion
  • National Grid – (Hinkley Point, Moorside, Wylfa)
  • Oxfordshire Council – A40 improvements
  • National Highways – A27 improvements
  • United Utilities – Vrynwy Aqueduct Modernisation, Buerton to Audlem sewer improvements

  • Southwest Water
  • Scottish Power – Oswestry to Wem new OHL
  • Cadent Gas – HyNet Northwest
  • Gwynt Y Mor, Awel Y Mor, Mona & Rampion Offshore Windfarms
  • Onshore Wind and Solar Arrays.

Our technical knowledge and experience dealing with compulsory purchase matters go hand in hand with our working knowledge of the agricultural sector so we are perfectly placed to advise rural business and landowners.

We also represent commercial and residential property owners.

Our services include:

  • Project Engagement and design mitigation
  • Petitioning and relevant representations at hearings or public inquiry
  • submission and settlement of compensation claims by RICS Registered Valuers
  • Representation and reference to Lands Tribunal
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution requests and representation
  • Mediation, Expert Determination and Early Neutral Evaluation

We are also members of the Compulsory Purchase Association and National Infrastructure Planning Association.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Unfortunately, not all issues can be agreed between the parties. With our years of experience we are able to provide independent support in cases where disputes arise.

Richard Fearnall has been appointed the President Panel of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) as an accredited Expert for determining compulsory purchase and compensation disputes.

A link to the RICS Expert Determination service can be found here or we can be appointed directly.

Richard is also an accredited RICS ACRE mediator who is able to act as a neutral third party to facilitate parties through a process of controlled negotiations to avoid the escalation of conflict.

We can offer a pared back service to provide an independent review service for any compulsory purchase dispute. The terms, costs, level of engagement and outputs can be agreed between the parties for the early neutral evaluation any issues around values, general assessment of claims and professional fee levels.

Getting expert, impartial advice early in proceedings can save tens of thousands of pounds in detailed legal proceedings and legal negotiations. Our charges for this service are based around as little as a single day charge – please contact us to discuss any bespoke requirements.

“If you are approached by a third party about any sort of project on your land, contact us, for a free no obligations consultation as early as possible.”

— Richard Fearnall, Managing Director

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