Advice: How the value of your land is assessed if it's hit with a compulsory purchase order
The rules in relation to compensation for land which is taken by compulsory purchase order (CPO) are complex and conflicting.
The Courts have decided the compensation by ensuring that the property owners are in no better and no worse position financially than they would have been if the lands had not been compulsorily acquired.
Many years often pass between the date that the acquiring authority serves a notice to treat and the date that possession of the property is taken.
During that period, the value of the land may fluctuate, and it is important to establish the correct date for the purposes of assessing the compensation payable to the owner deprived of his/her property.
The relevant date for the purpose of valuation is the date the acquiring authority entered onto the land and took possession.
At a minimum, the value of land to be taken should be the amount which the land, if sold in the open market by a willing seller, might be expected to realise (in other words – market value). If the landowner has made improvements or investment in the land then this should be taken into account in determining the market value.
The most significant rule in relation to the determination of the compensation value in the case of farm land is that the landowner should be paid for the value of the land to him/her, not just its value generally.