Swan: What is a compulsory purchase order? !

Full details about Swan: What is a compulsory purchase order?

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As part of plans to regenerate the town centre, St Helens Council approved a compulsory purchase order from The Swan pub last month.

It proved to be a controversial move, as a compulsory purchase order (CPO) would see the historic building leveled to make way for a new and improved bus station.

The council says a more attractive and accessible bus stop will drive the footfall into the revamped town centre, but the move has not gone over well with the innkeeper and community of regulars.

But what is a CPO and how can a council take ownership of a building that is not theirs? the star The procedure is explained below.

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St Helens Star: Landlady Angela Hindley will lose her job and home if the CPO goes aheadLandlady Angela Hindley will lose her job and home if the CPO goes ahead (Photo: St Helens Star)

What is a mandatory purchase order?

A compulsory purchase order is an authority that enables local authorities to compulsorily acquire land.

If used properly, they can contribute to effective urban and rural regeneration, essential infrastructure, revitalizing communities, and boosting businesses – leading to an improved quality of life.

When should a CPO be used?

The government has stated that the CPO is intended as a “last resort” to secure land for council or regeneration projects, and should only be done where there is a “major case of public interest”.

Decision makers expect local authorities to demonstrate that they have taken reasonable steps to acquire the land and can justify their decision to issue the order.

St Helens Star: The Swan will be settled for a new and improved bus stop under council plansThe Swan will be settled for a new and improved bus station under council plans (Image: St Helens Council)

Who should be notified of the CPO?

The Council or the relevant authority shall inform any party that the CPO will directly affect.

This includes the building owner, the occupier, the tenant, and anyone the gaining power believes is likely to be affected or can claim compensation.

The general public will also be notified through newspaper notices and site notices.

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Can Objections Beiled to a CPO?

Those who will be directly affected by the CPO, as well as third parties and members of the public, are invited to submit any objections to the relevant government minister within a specified period.

In the case of Swan, the deadline for objections isriday, 13th January, which must have been written to the Secretary of State for Settlement, Housing and Communities, Business Planning Unit 23, Stephenson Street, Birmingham, B2 4BH.

Those who feel they wish to challenge the validity of the compulsory purchase order once approved can challenge the order by making an application to the Supreme Court.

St Helens Star: The Swan regulars have objected to the CPOThe Swan regulars objected to the CPO (Photo: St Helens Star)

What happens after a CPO is approved?

After the compulsory purchase order is announced, residents have at least 21 days to file their objections.

If no objections are raised, a government minister will consider the appropriateness of the proposals and either confirm, amend or reject the CPO.

If there were objections, as with the swan, a public inquiry could be made and all objections arranged for consideration.

A public inquiry will be held at a place suitable for all parties, and will be held in the summer in the Swan case.

The Secretary of State will decide the case, and the landowner will receive compensation if the matter continues.

St Helens Star: Six staff will lose their jobs if the CPO goes aheadSix employees will lose their jobs if the CPO goes ahead (Photo: St Helens Star)

The decision on the Government’s decision on the Swan’s CPO is expected to be made in late 2023.

The building is likely to be transferred to council ownership in Spring 2024 if the CPO is approved.