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Compulsory Purchase Order

A Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) gives certain bodies (for example a local authority, highways agency, development corporation) the legal right to obtain land or property without the consent of the owner, authorised by the Secretary of State.

A CPO is an important tool for councils to use as a means of acquiring land needed to help deliver social, environmental and economic change.

The council is required to pay the owner compensation which usually includes the value of the property and any relocation costs.

Government policy on CPOs is that they should be used as a last resort after the council has given every opportunity to the owner to sell the site by agreement or to carry out improvements voluntarily or in compliance with statutory notices.


When the council has decided to exercise a compulsory purchase power, granted by housing, planning or local government legislation, it submits the Order to the Secretary of State for assessment and approval.

The council has a statutory obligation to notify everyone affected by a CPO and if valid objections are made a Public Local Inquiry will be held by an Inspector who will report the findings and any recommendations to the Secretary of State. The decision will be to:

  • confirm the Order
  • reject the Order
  • confirm the Order with modification

If the Order is confirmed or confirmed with modification, the council proceeds to take possession of the land, which usually takes a minimum of three to twelve months. Once the land becomes vested in the council, anyone holding legal title to any of the CPO land will have their interest transferred into an interest in compensation.

Advantages of CPOs

CPOs can help bring about urban regeneration, the revitalisation of communities and the promotion of business - leading to improvements in quality of life. Examples of this include where:

  • a local authority wishes to carry out a comprehensive redevelopment of an area where there are a number of separate landowners
  • a property has fallen into disrepair and it seems unlikely that the owner intends to refurbish it.

Local authorities are therefore encouraged to consider using their compulsory purchase powers wherever appropriate to ensure real gains are brought to residents, and the business community.

Further information about CPOs can be found on GOV.UK

Former Kings Arms Public House CPO 2020

On the 16 September 2020 a General Vesting Declaration (GVD) was issued in relation to the former Kings Arms Public House, 100 Mile Cross Road Norwich.

Copies of the documents are available to view below and are on deposit at City Hall, Norwich. If you wish to view these documents in person you must make an appointment with us by emailing

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