20 Jul 2022

CIH response to the compulsory purchase reforms consultation

We have submitted our response to the government’s compulsory purchase reforms consultation. The consultation sought views on amending the compensation provisions in relation to the assessment of prospective planning permission (often referred to as ‘hope value’) where land is acquired by a public authority without the consent of the owner. ‘Hope value’ artificially inflates land values, making it extremely hard for councils to buy land to build social housing.

CIH believes that the government is right to seek to modernise the system to ensure a fairer, faster, more efficient compulsory purchase process that acquiring authorities are confident in using and that produces the right outcomes to bring forward development, including for much needed housing.

Hannah Keilloh, policy and practice officer at CIH and a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, commented on the consultation stating: “CIH is pleased to see the government consulting on reforming compulsory purchase compensation and ‘hope value’. It is clear that the current system contributes to the housing crisis by artificially inflating land values, affecting viability and causing significant land assembly delays, making it very challenging for councils to buy land for much needed genuinely affordable housing.

We are encouraged that these proposals present an opportunity for the complex CPO process to be made simpler, clearer, and fairer. To ensure new risks don’t arise from changes intended to simplify the process, it is vital that the government also engages with those who work regularly within the CPO system. Capacity must also be considered - reform will not be successful if local authorities are not sufficiently resourced.”

Hannah has also written a blog considering the impact of the compulsory purchase reform proposals on social housing “Is there “hope” for more social housing in the government’s compulsory purchase reform proposals?”