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CPOs key to urban regeneration

Words: Laura Edgar
Liverpool City Council has submitted CPO requests

Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) are playing a key role in urban regeneration projects across the country, according to research by Bond Dickinson LLP.

New figures, released by Bond Dickinson in advance of April's Compulsory Purchase Orders: 2015 update, suggest that submissions of planning CPOs increased by 61 per cent in 2014, from 36 in 2013 to 58.

Bond Dickinson said planning CPOs were a “powerful indicator of improving economic confidence”. However, their use in 2014 was still below pre-recessions levels. Having said that, Bond Dickinson added that more than 95 per cent of planning and housing CPOs “were either confirmed or facilitated acquisition by agreement”.

CPOs made in 2014 include:

• Retail-led Whitgift Centre in Croydon

• Watford Health Campus

• Barnet LBC’s West Hendon Regeneration Area

• Phase 3 of the Edge Hill project, made by Liverpool City Council

Although they are used nationwide, CPOs are predominantly used in London, the Midlands and the North-West.

“CPOs are demonstrably an effective tool in the armoury of local authorities” - report

Frank Orr, legal director at Bond Dickinson, said: “Acquiring authorities can take comfort from the good prospects of success, but must use CPOs with care and pay close attention to the circumstances of each case to meet legal and policy requirements.

“Our report’s findings support the recognition by government that compulsory purchase is an effective tool for delivering socio-economic and environmental change and regeneration.

"There is scope and need for improving delivery of properly made CPOs and the recently proposed streamlining of processes and decision-making timescales are to be welcomed.”

“Planning CPOs continue to drive regeneration, and facilitate development and redevelopment, particularly in urban areas” - report

Additionally, the report considered why a small percentage of CPOs fail, the reasons for which include technical drafting errors, non-conformity with Local Development Frameworks and failing to demonstrate that all land in the order submission was needed.

Compulsory Purchase Orders: 2015 update is due to be published on April 23, 2015.