§ Mr. John Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps are taken to avoid hardship to home-owners when property is acquired compulsorily for road schemes.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
The Department carefully examines potential and actual hardship cases resulting from compulsory purchase. It always helps out where it can. For example, with the agreement of the vendor, the Department will arrange early discussions with the district valuer if these could be helpful. Again, the local housing authority is alerted and has a duty to accommodate a displaced person where alternative accommodation is not otherwise available. Eviction is very rare.
When a compulsory purchase order is published in draft those with a legal interest have a right to object. Where the compulsory purchase order is later made, the Department serves a notice to treat on those whose property is required. The notice invites them to negotiate for the sale of their interest. The district valuer negotiates on behalf of the Department and assesses compensation on the basis of value, disregarding the road scheme. The Department then serves notice to enter, as it usually needs possession of the land before it could complete conveyancing. On entry to the land the Department offers the displaced vendor 90 per cent. of the estimated compensation, the balance being paid on completion.
The attention of inquirers is drawn to the information about compulsory purchase provided in the booklets on the land compensation code. Copies of these are always readily available from the Department.