Here’s a quick start guide to understanding how compulsory property acquisition works.
All levels of government can acquire privately owned land for public purposes, for example road widening. They can acquire all of the land, part of the land or an interest in the land for example, an easement.
The government authority that is proposing to acquire the private land is called the acquiring authority.
Land can be acquired by agreement, or in the event that an agreement cannot be reached, by compulsory acquisition at a value determined by the Valuer General.
For the acquiring authority to compulsorily acquire land they must first serve the landowner with a Proposed Acquisition Notice (also called a PAN). Under recent amendments to the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 the acquiring authority must negotiate with the landowner for 6 months prior to the issuing of a PAN.
From the time that the land owner, or an interested party (for example a lessee) is issued with a PAN there are strict timeframes that must be adhered to so it is very important that an appointment is made to speak to a solicitor who has experience in this area of law as to the rights of the landowner or the interested party and the procedures to be followed.