A recent case confirms that compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) must be used strictly in accordance with relevant planning law.
Wolverhampton City Council had served a CPO on supermarket giant Sainsbury’s to acquire land after doing a deal with rival Tesco to develop the land and another site as a ‘package deal’.
After Sainsbury’s opposed the CPO, the dispute went all the way to the Supreme Court.
The Council proposed to purchase the land in question because it wanted the another site developed, which Tesco agreed to do if it could have the site owned by Sainsbury’s. However, the Court ruled that the wish to develop another site was not a ‘lawful consideration’: the Council could not ‘take into account a commitment by the developer of a site part of which was subject to a CPO to secure the development, redevelopment or improvement of another site’.