Bond Dickinson research also reveals 95% success rate of CPOs since 2012

Whitgift Plans

Land is being amassed through CPOs for Westfield and Hammerson’s Croydon shopping centre scheme

The number of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) increased by two-thirds in 2014, according to figures released today by law firm Bond Dickinson.

The research finds that submissions of planning CPOs, which are often used on complex large-scale development projects, rose from 36 in 2013 to 58 in 2014, an increase of 61%.

Planning CPOs can be seen as an indicator of improving economic confidence, as they are a key step towards major developments. Frank Orr, legal director at Bond Dickinson, said: “This significant recovery in the number of planning CPOs may be a positive indicator of returning confidence. If that trend continues, then we would anticipate a continued uplift in the use of planning CPOs through 2015, as authorities seek to facilitate a range of development projects.”

However, he added: “There is still some way to go to match pre-recession levels.”

The report also reveals the high success rate of planning CPOs. Of the orders determined between 2012 and 2014, over 95% were either confirmed or facilitated acquisition by agreement. The hot spots for use of compulsory purchase remain London, the Midlands and the North-west.

Examples of planning CPOs made in 2014 include the retail-led Whitgift Centre in Croydon, the Watford Health Campus, and housing-led schemes such as Barnet LBC’s West Hendon Regeneration Area and Phase 3 of the Edge Hill project made by Liverpool council.

The research also looks at why a small percentage of CPOs fail. Reasons include technical drafting errors, the availability of alternative solutions, falling short of the need for compulsory acquisition and a failure to demonstrate that all Order land was needed.