Decision details

Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for Long Term Empty Property known as 26 East Street, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 7DR

Decision Maker: Portfolio Holder for People - Adult Social Care, Health and Housing

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


That the Portfolio Holder for People – Adult Social Care, Housing and Health resolves to make, seek confirmation of and implement a compulsory purchase order (CPO) pursuant to s226(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Acquisition of Land Act 1981 and all other enabling powers in relation to 26 East Street, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 7DR which is shown edged red on the plan attached at Appendix 1, for the purposes of improvement of the land.


That the Portfolio Holder for People – Adult Social Care, Housing and Health resolves that the Council seeks to acquire the land whether by compulsorily using the statutory powers or by voluntary agreement.


That the Portfolio Holder for People – Adult Social Care, Housing and Health delegates authority to the Corporate Director for Housing and Community Safety to:


1.  To take all necessary steps to secure the preparation, making, and submission to the Secretary of State for confirmation and implementation of the CPO including (but not limited to) the publication and service of all statutory notices; the investigation of and response to objections (including the negotiation and completion of any necessary agreement and undertaking in order to secure the removal of objections to the CPO); and the presentation of the Council's case at any public inquiry or via written representations and all other associated procedural steps.

2.  To acquire the Property whether by voluntary agreement or compulsorily using the statutory powers section 226(1)(a) Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and Acquisition of Land Act 1981

3.  To determine the form and contents of the CPO and the statement of reasons accompanying the CPO and to finalise the same. 

4.  Take all appropriate actions for making amendments, modifications and deletions to the CPO and plan, including updates and corrections to the draft as necessary to finalise and secure confirmation of the CPO.

5.  Issue and serve any warrants to obtain possession of the Property once acquired following execution of a General Vesting Declaration or service of a Notice of Entry if it is necessary to obtain vacant possession.

6.  Suspend or abandon the CPO proceedings or withdraw the CPO in relation to all or part of the Property.

7.  Take necessary action to deal with all matters relating to the payment of statutory compensation including, where required, instituting, or defending proceedings.

8.  Take all other necessary action to give effect to these recommendations.


Reasons for the decision:

Alternative options considered:

Alternative option 1:


Commence the process to make an Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO) under the Housing Act 2004.


Option rejected.


An EDMO empowers the Council to take over the management and letting (not ownership) of a property for a maximum period of 7 years. This option has been discounted as it will require the Council to pay for the complete renovation and improvement of the property to current lettable standards and then arrange for its ongoing management over this 7-year period. The property then has to be handed back to the freehold owner. The rent received over this 7-year period is unlikely to cover the cost of repairing the Property to a lettable standard.


Alternative option 2:


Take no formal action and continue to try and persuade the owner to bring the Property (“the Owner”) back into use by informal means.


Option rejected.


The property has been empty for at least 10 years and is having a deleterious effect on the amenity of the area and generating complaints from residents and local Councillors. During this time the owner has not engaged with any approach or offer of assistance made by the Council to bring the property back into use. When weighing up the powers available to the Council, the rights of the local community and the rights of the owner, then it is no longer appropriate to continue pursuing informal action in this case.





Portfolio Holder for People – Adult Social Care, Housing and Health

Corporate Director for Housing and Community Safety

Service Manager Conservation Team

Legal Business Partner – Regulatory

Development Management and Enforcement Team

nplaw – external legal advisor who specialise in CPO.

Valuation Office Agency (VOA)



Budget Implications:


Estimated cost of a Compulsory Purchase Order:


Legal costs - The fixed fee charged by nplaw (acting for the Council) is £3,200 plus disbursements (If contested or if there are complications; legal work will be charged at the hourly rate of £124 plus disbursements and it could prove necessary to instruct Counsel)

District Valuation costs £2750

Land Registry Search & other costs £200

Newspaper Adverts £2000

Likely Emergency repair costs upon taking possession £4000.

Possession costs (locksmith etc.) £150

Stamp Duty Land Tax (dependant on land value at vesting)


Land acquisition/market value: £125,000

Disturbance: £2,000

Basic Loss Payment: £9,375

Surveyor’s fees: £5,000

Total Compensation £141,375


Compulsory purchase compensation includes the market value of the property together with other potential heads of claim.  The current value of the property is £125,000 as per a report from the Valuation Office Agency. However, the valuation date for the purposes of compensation will be a future date in the process and so the valuation will be dependent on property and market conditions at that time. The total estimated compensation is £141,375 as per the report from the Valuation Agency Office taking land value together with other potential heads of claim (disturbance, basic loss payment and fees)



Legal Implications:


The Council has the power to make a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) under section 226(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Acquisition of Land Act 1981 to facilitate an improvement which will contribute to the promotion and improvement of the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing of the area and to submit the CPO to the Secretary of State for confirmation.


In submitting a CPO to the Secretary of State for confirmation, parties with a legal interest have the right to object. If objections are received and not withdrawn or disregarded, the confirming minister will either arrange for a public local inquiry to be held or, where all the remaining objectors and the acquiring authority agree to it – arrange for the objections to be considered through a written representation’s procedure. It may also be possible to agree an undertaking with the objector securing a confirmed CPO on the basis that the Council grants a final opportunity for the property to be renovated voluntarily.



Any Conflict of Interest?





Reference Documents:


Housing Standards Enforcement Policy and Statement of Principles for determining Financial Penalties 2020-2025 3 November 2020

Guidance on Compulsory purchase process and The Crichel Down Rules (2019)

Dorset Council Plan 2020 to 2024



Publication date: 08/09/2023

Date of decision: 06/09/2023

Accompanying Documents: