UK: Key Things To Know About Compulsory Sales Orders

Last Updated: 11 September 2018
Article by Lucy Cowan

Compulsory Sales Orders

Scotland currently has around 11,600 hectares of vacant/derelict land and it is believed that there are more than 37,000 long-term empty houses. The Land Reform Review Group set up by the Scottish Government in 2012  made several recommendations aimed at addressing this problem. One such recommendation was to give planning authorities the power to require vacant or derelict land to be sold by public auction, a "compulsory sales order" (CSO).

The Scottish Land Commission (SLC) has been working with the Scottish Government and other stakeholders to develop a proposal on how CSOs can work in practice.  The proposal was published in August 2018 and it is intended to provide the Scottish Government with a framework for developing CSOs.

What is a CSO?

A CSO is a mechanism to enable local authorities to bring problematic vacant sites and buildings back into productive use.

The type of land that a CSO would focus on would be land or buildings that are either derelict, have been vacant for an undue period of time and where this is having a detrimental impact on the surrounding community.

The proposal outlines the following criteria for potential CSO sites:

  • relatively small;
  •  not used for any productive purpose;
  • causing demonstrable harm to the surrounding community;
  • located within or on the immediate periphery of existing settlements; and
  • have previously been developed.

What is the justification for proposing CSOs?

The proposal highlights that the compulsory mechanisms currently available require the local authority or community to have a clear plan for how the land or building should be used. This is not required for a CSO where there need only be a desire to see the land or building brought into productive use.  The proposal suggests that a CSO would provide a "valuable alternative" to the existing compulsory purchase powers held by local authorities and right to buy powers held by communities.

The proposal makes reference to research which shows that transferring land from a "passive owner" to an "active owner" is a pre-condition for bringing vacant/derelict land into productive use.  The proposal suggests that land often remains vacant because the owner has unrealistic expectations about the value of the site.  The proposed CSO process would involve an auction, thus providing a mechanism for the true market price to be revealed.

The proposal also suggests that the real strength of CSOs is the role that they could play in facilitating dialogue with owners of problematic sites, therefore stimulating regeneration.

What is the proposed process for obtaining a CSO?

  • Site Identification – The planning authority would identify the site (based on the local knowledge of individual councillors and councillors).
  • Preliminary investigations – The planning authority would undertake preliminary investigations into the site. Before any formal proceedings commenced, the planning authority would be required to submit a report based on the preliminary investigations which would clearly demonstrate the public interest case for the CSO.
  • Decision – The decision is made by the planning authority at a meeting, which the landowner would be invited to attend and given the opportunity to make representations at.
  • Order – If the decision is taken to commence CSO proceedings, the planning authority would issue a formal Order to the owner of the site. The owner could object to the Order being made and any objection would be made to the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division.
  • Auction – The planning authority responsible for granting the CSO would facilitate the auction. An independent valuer would advise on the management of the sale. The auction would be open for anyone to bid.
  • Conditions of Sale – Statutory conditions would be attached to the sale.  Should the new owner not comply with the conditions of sale and not bring the site into productive use within the prescribed time frame, the planning authority could purchase the site at a price set by an independent valuer.

What measures would be proposed to protect the landowner?

The proposal highlights that any CSO would involve directly interfering with an individual's property rights so the public interest served by the CSO must outweigh the cost to the individual.

The proposal seeks to ensure that the measure is proportionate and fair in a number of ways –

  • The planning authority would have to compile strong evidence in favour of a CSO before initiating the action.
  • The proposed process allows for engagement with the landowner, particularly at the early stage where preliminary investigations are being made.
  • Any planning authority considering initiating a CSO would have to give due consideration to any reasonable alternatives that may exist to bring the property back into productive use and take steps to work with the landowner to achieve these.
  • There would be separation between the authority issuing the CSO and the body to which an appeal is made by the landowner.  The proposal suggests that appeals should be made to the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (which forms part of Scottish Government) whereas the CSO would be granted by a planning authority.

What happens next?

The proposal poses a number of questions and indicates that these are intended to support any future work that the Scottish Government may undertake in connection with CSOs.  It appears that it is now for the Scottish Government to decide whether to take forward the proposal for CSOs.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions