Surveyors and Property Consultants

Regeneration & Strategic Development

Land Assembly & Compulsory Purchase


Transformational projects in the built environment will invariably mean a change to the existing ownership and occupational structure of an area.  Effective and timely land assembly is central to the successful implementation of projects from a developers or promoters point of view and yet the process is potentially both disruptive and unsettling to the businesses and residents affected.


The process of land assembly is that of bringing together land and interests into a single ownership, or more critically a single control, and can involve many alternative solutions other than just straightforward property ownership.  However central to any such process will be private treaty negotiations, the successful implementation of which is more often than not a forerunner of the successful implementation of the project itself.  We are highly experienced in undertaking such private treaty negotiations and have successfully concluded negotiations in many instances in the past. 


Acting on behalf of developers or promoters we have successfully acquired countless interests in many varied and innovate different ways, hence allowing projects to progress expeditiously and within budget.  We have devised, co-ordinated and implemented some of the highest profile and most complex land assembly programmes over the last 15 years. 


In relation to residents, land owners and businesses affected by such proposals in acting for them we have ensured that the process does not undermine the fundamentals of their occupation or occupation and whilst ensuring that their position is ultimately maximised, we have guided them through what can often be an unsettling and uncertain time, to the most successful of outcomes.  We always ensure that our clients, who are often unfamiliar with such matters, are kept fully informed and thoroughly understand the process.  Indeed ultimately a sale of the land interest may not be the most critical matter, instead it may be how the scheme affects their occupation once completed or whilst it is being constructed.


Compulsory purchase is a specialised and complicated area of the law and we have an in depth understanding of the actuality and practicality of the legislation together with a wealth of experience of its real world application.  Notionally we have advised on some of the largest and most complicated compulsory purchase schemes and have been at the forefront of this sector for over a decade.  Our advice is from the very earliest stages of considering and reviewing the policy basis for any compulsory purchase and ensuring that it is sufficiently robust, all the way through to the final settlement of compensation.


For the promoter the process of compulsory purchase starts long before the agreement of any compensation and at the earliest stages involves the drawing up of a strategy, consultation with stakeholders and affected parties and budgeting.   These early stages are critical to the swift and effective delivery of a successful compulsory purchase and mitigate the prospects of an aborted or failed public inquiry and legal challenge later down the line.  Throughout the process a co-ordinated purchase programme is needed, continued contract with landowners is essential and an overall monitoring of progress.  Ultimately where agreements haven’t been reached with landowners a strategy for taking interests by compulsion will need to be identified and compensation agreed.  Finally, and most often overlooked by promoters, proper close down procedures will need to be put in place.


We have extensive experience in advising promoters of compulsory purchase processes and have an enviable track record of successful delivery of some of the largest and most complicated schemes.  We are fully conversant with advising at all stages of the process and regularly appear at public inquiries in support of such proposals.


Landowners, businesses and residents affected by compulsory purchase need careful and considered professional advice.  From the earliest of stages they must be clear about their position, fully understand the whole process and ensure that measures are taken to protect their interests.  Care must be taken in relation to the discussions with Acquiring Authorities and careful consideration for the prospects of representations or objections. Negotiations inevitably involve far more matters than simply acquisition, such matters as timing, certainty, continued occupation, relocation and impact before, during and works need to be considered.  Ultimately a pragmatic approach is needed coupled with a thorough understanding of the opportunities and pitfalls of the process.


If agreement cannot be reached then we are experienced in all forms of dispute resolution be that alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, and more formal procedures involving giving evidence to public inquiries, expert tribunals and the Lands Chamber.  We are fully familiar with all forms of statutory processes and procedures including the compulsory purchase process both under the Town & Country Planning Acts ,Transport and Works Acts and Development Consent Orders for nationally significant infrastructure projects.


Our expertise encompasses all forms of land assembly considered in its broadest sense, from delivering projects, or elements of projects, by way of development or implementation agreements, to the taking of temporary or permanent rights, to wayleaves, easements and to the various forms of compensation that exist such as Part 1 claims and interruption arising from public works.

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