Bus Connects: What happens if they come looking for a slice of your property?
What is a compulsory purchase order (CPO)? Basically, if an offer is made for a piece of land (in this case a portion of a front garden) so some public infrastructure can be built, and if that offer is rejected by the homeowner, the Government is entitled to buy it anyway, if it can prove it serves the "common good".
How can it do that?
CPOs were deemed necessary as far back as 1757 when an Act of Parliament was written to allow for the building of wide city streets like D'Olier Street, Westmoreland Street and Dorset Street. It was used again when some vital public utilities like canals and railways were being installed.
How will I know if I'm affected?
You will be informed either directly, or via a newspaper advertisement and public notices that your property may be affected by a CPO.
This will only occur, we are told, if you refuse an offer for compensation for the loss of garden for a necessary and approved bus corridor.
What should I do?
"As soon as you become aware your property is affected by a CPO process, without delay you should seek the property advice of a chartered valuation surveyor experienced in the area of compulsory purchase," says the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland . The basis for any CPO is 'market value' of the land. "The compensation should reflect both the actual land acquired and the diminution in value (if any) of the retained area as a result of the CPO."
Can I appeal?
Objections to An Bord Pleanála are allowed, but valid objections are generally on planning or legal grounds only.
The word 'compulsory' is key here, as if it is granted, you must comply. It would be unreasonable, for example, for one neighbour on a street to hold out while an entire route is hijacked.
How is compensation calculated?
The compensation depends on the value of land acquired; the diminution in value of retained lands, if any; the costs resulting from acquisition, plus an amount for disturbance, loss of goodwill and professional fees. And you have to pay tax on it.