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Is there a timeframe that one can own a property before there’s a compulsory purchase order?

Siobhán Durkan, Partner and Solicitor at our firm, recently featured in The Irish Times Property Clinic. You can read the full article below.

I have a query regarding the power of a local authority to put a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) on land that was in my late father’s name. My father died in 2002, intestate. We have taken out a grant of administration on his estate only now, of which there is a parcel of town centre land that the local authority has made several failed attempts to put a CPO on.

My query is this: can the local authority put a CPO on land of the person who has just become the legal beneficial owner of a property? Or is there a time frame that one can own a property before this action can be taken by a local authority? Any light you can shed on this would be very much appreciated.


Siobhán Durkan,  Partner & Solicitor

Siobhán’s reply: The short reply to your query is that there is no time frame or period for which you are required to have owned a property before this action can be taken by a local authority. As you are probably aware, a CPO is the legal process available to certain statutory bodies to take land or property without the owner’s consent for the purposes of development or to enable those statutory bodies to perform their functions and duties. There is a constitutional right to own and enjoy property under article of the Constitution and, therefore, the forced sale of property must be justified, and the CPO should recite the legal basis on which it has authority to act.

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 to enable them object to the notice. You are likely to have received such notice as successor to your father. Objections can be made, but valid objections are generally on planning or legal grounds only. A public local inquiry is held at which affected parties can formally put their views forward. If no objections are made, An Bord Pleanála can confirm, amend or reject the CPO without a public inquiry.

Once the CPO has been confirmed, the landowner will have an opportunity to submit a claim for compensation in respect of the land being acquired. There are various heads of compensation under
which the landowner is entitled to submit a claim for compensation in the case of a CPO, and your valuer and or solicitor will advise you in that regard.

You should promptly seek the advice of a chartered valuation surveyor experienced in the area of CPO. You should also contact your solicitor who can assist you in drafting and preparing written objections, a claim for compensation and represent you at any oral hearing or arbitration hearing which may be arranged to consider your claim. The cost of such services will normally form part of any claim for compensation subject to certain rules and conditions.

Siobhán Durkan partner and solicitor at P O’Connor & Son solicitors.