Compulsory Purchase Orders Explained

Author:Ms Linda Conway
Profession:Dillon Eustace
  1. Introduction

    This update highlights changes in the procedure for the

    compulsory acquisition of land as enacted by the Planning and

    Development Act 2000 (the "Act"). Essentially, the

    Act transfers the functions of the Minister for the Environment

    and Local Government (the "Minister") to An Bord

    Pleanala, the Irish planning board (the

    "Board"). The procedure by way of public enquiry has

    been replaced by oral hearing by an inspector appointed by the

    Board. The transfer of the Minister's functions to the

    Board involves all necessary powers previously within the

    Minister's remit, including those concerning rights of

    access to land, the modification or revocation of planning

    permissions, and all other powers generally necessary to ensure

    that the Board can carry out its functions efficiently and


  2. Acquisition of Development Land

    Section 212(1) of the Act details the circumstances in which

    a local authority may acquire development land. Among other

    things, it entitles local authorities to acquire land:

    in order to secure, facilitate, control or improve the

    frontage of any public road by widening, opening or enlarging


    in order to provide areas with roads and other

    infrastructure facilitating public transport; and

    for such services and works as may be needed for


    Section 213 (2) (A) states that a local authority may, for

    the purposes of performing any of its functions, acquire land

    either permanently or temporarily, by agreement or

    compulsorily. However, a local authority may not acquire lands

    compulsorily when it has not determined the particular purpose

    for which the land is required.

  3. Notice of Intention to Compulsorily Acquire Land

    The local authority is obliged to publish a notice of its

    intention to compulsorily acquire land in one or more

    newspapers circulating in its area. This notice must expressly

    specify where the order and relevant maps may be inspected. It

    must also be forwarded to each owner, occupier and lessee of

    lands to which the order relates.

  4. Objections to the Notice of Intention to Compulsorily

    Acquire Land

    Oral hearings must be held where a valid objection is made

    by an individual who will be affected by the order.

    Compensation issues are never dealt with at oral hearings. A

    property arbitrator will be appointed to reach a satisfactory

    settlement with the affected parties.

    The procedure to be followed at public inquiries is

    relatively informal. Initially, the local authority will

    present the...

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