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31 Oct, 2023/ by Homeward Legal /Buyer, First Time Buyer

We are now in the season of the autumn party conferences, which is usually the place where those in government lay out their plans for the next year, while those in opposition criticise what has been going on to date, and also to look at those government plans to state their stance on the issues.

One of the biggest issues that has arisen in the last few weeks is the state and status of the HS2 project, given that it has been reported that the multi-million pound project was now severely delayed and is likely to go billions over the budget - if it is going to be completed. 

There are battling factions of the government who are calling for the HS2 line to be completed, irrespective of the cost, while others point to exactly that as to why, in a cost-of-living crisis, the project should be cancelled, or at least mothballed.

As it transpires, after days of prevarication and avoiding the questions on the subject, PM Rishi Sunak announced the cancellation of the project, vowing to spend the budget on other infrastructure projects throughout the north of England.

But the biggest issue will be those who had compulsory purchase orders applied to their homes and land at the start of the project -for no need given the inevitable stress that process caused - in order to pave the way for the new HS2 line and the attendant buildings and infrastructure to be constructed.

Whatever the rights and wrongs underlining the HS2 project, and regardless of its immediate and long-term future, it does raise the question of the impact of major infrastructure projects and what the Compulsory Purchase Order means for your short- to medium-term moving plans.

What is a Compulsory Purchase Order?

Essentially, aCompulsory Purchase Order (CPO) is a legal process by which those authorities with the legal powers to do so, can acquire land - and by association any buildings and structures built on it - without obtaining the current owner's consent. 

To be under such an Order is understandably stressful, particularly because it can be quite complex to untangle all the elements that are involved with it.

It should also be noted that it is the responsibility of the affected landowner to mitigate any personal loss as a result of the imposition of a Compulsory Purchase Order. 

Anyone who is impacted by a CPO on their land can initiate the due process of submitting objections, which will be assessed by the claiming body. If the objection to the order is not upheld, it will go ahead as planned, otherwise, the controlling body will decide whether to modify or reject the CPO. All of this needs legal involvement, which will be initially a cost to the complainant.

The overriding principle here is equivalence, according to the government documentation, which means that anyone impacted by a CPO should not be out of pocket by the experience, nor should they make financial gain from it.

The process of compensating those affected depends on the market value of the land, along with a set of rules for additional compensation over and above the value of the buildings and land.

What do CPOs and infrastructure and transport projects mean to buying a house?

The government and other authorities will always be looking at ways of improving the traffic systems (roads, railways, tramways, bus-only routes, and so on) and other municipal infrastructure projects, particularly mooted in the “levelling up” agenda.

You may be aware of them, or you might be completely oblivious to any plans that might affect your land, either as a seller or as a buyer, even if it is as simple as increasing traffic past your current or intended property.

Notwithstanding the direct impact of having a CPO applied to your land, seriously impacting your plans - and for which you need to seek legal advice - when you are moving home, you'll need to know the likely impact of any of these schemes.

Your buyer's conveyancing solicitor will be checking out all legal aspects of the home you are selling (legal ownership and ability to sell, drainage and water, local authority searches, etc.) in addition to specific searches (e.g. coal-mining or hazardous chemicals) that might be pertinent to the information supplied to your prospective buyer.

Equally, your own conveyancer will make the same necessary checks on your behalf on the property that you are planning to buy.

From these searches will come the information of any national schemes that might be an impact in the immediate or long-term future. Also from this, it will be easier to extrapolate the data to assess whether it is at all likely that you will be in the proximity of such upheaval and ultimately how likely it is for your property to be subject to a CPO.

Are you worried whether your planned purchase is likely to be affected by a traffic management upgrade scheme? Or are you concerned about the proximity of a railway line and its possibility of extension?

That's where Homeward Legal can really help with affordable but quality conveyancing services! 

They will start work on your planned purchase and/or sale as soon as you agree to the quotation and appoint them to represent you, and will work hard to complete the process in as short a time as possible. 

Homeward Legal will also provide a quote that will not change - what you are quoted is what you pay for standard conveyancing process.

There are some unforeseen items that might arise during the purchase and/or sale, but the solicitor discusses these and their cost as they come up. 

In addition, to protect the homebuyer further, Homeward Legal operates a ‘no completion, no fee' promise, which ensures that, should the purchase or sale not go through as planned to completion status, no payment is required.

Call  to get your conveyancing quote started, or to discuss your concerns with your plans to move.

Or you can get a quick quote, using Homeward Legal's easy-to-use quote generator.

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