• John Gannon

From Acquisition Parcels to Possession

Updated: Oct 2, 2017

What is an Acquisition Parcel?


An Acquisition Parcel (#AcquisitionParcel) is a unit of report used in compulsory purchase instruments and related documents to:


- link an entry in a schedule of landownership to an extent on a plan;

- link one or more compulsory purchase powers to an extent on a plan.


The set of Acquisition Parcels contained in the authorised instrument are fixed and do not change with land requirements or landownership.


Taking Possession


Take for example a set of land requirements for which acquisition powers have been granted:

  • Permanent acquisition of subsoil >9m below surface;

  • Permanent acquisition of land for related works;

  • Permanent acquisition of rights.



Land Requirements for which acquisition powers granted


and intersecting legal estates:

  • a freehold;

  • a leasehold which excludes subsoil.




Legal Estates


Intersecting the land requirements with the legal estates creates five Acquisition Parcels:




Acquisition Parcels for which acquisition powers granted


The process of obtaining compulsory purchase powers does not happen instantly and possession (#Possession) may not be required until sometime after powers have been obtained. In the intervening period landownership may change, requiring updates to landownership data. Detailed design will also progress in the interim period and will result in updates to land requirements.


Rather than acquire land and rights prior to construction the acquiring authority may decide, instead, as a first step, to take temporary possession (#TemporaryPossession) of the land it needs for construction (providing it has the powers to do so). This would give rise to a new set of land requirements:

  • Temporary possession of subsoil >9m below surface;

  • Temporary possession of land for related works.




Temporary Possession Requirements


Note that both these requirements are smaller in extent than those for which permanent acquisition powers were granted and it is assumed the new rights are not required at this stage.


Assuming no change in the legal estates, to take possession, the acquiring authority needs to serve notice on the owner of the freehold:

  • for temporary possession of the subsoil - authorised through AP1 and AP4 :




Temporary Possession - subsoil >9m

  • for temporary possession for related works – authorised through AP2 and AP3;




Temporary Possession - related works (freeholder)


and on the owner of the leasehold for temporary possession for related works – authorised through AP3:




Temporary Possession - related works (leaseholder)


The notices required and the extents to which they relate are established by the spatial intersection of the possession requirements with the legal estates. The compulsory acquisition powers which enable possession to be taken can be identified by spatial intersection with Acquisition Parcels.


Note, there is no intersection of the temporary possession of subsoil > 9m below surface requirement with the leasehold estate as it does not include subsoil.


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