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Acquisition of land

The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) contains provisions relating to the acquisition, appropriation, development and disposal of land for planning purposes.

The statutory grounds on which a local authority and the Welsh Ministers can acquire land compulsorily for the purposes of planning are set out in TCPA 1990.

Local authorities, subject to authorisation by the Welsh Ministers, have power to acquire compulsorily land for development or other planning purposes.

TCPA 1990 confers power on the Welsh Ministers to acquire compulsorily any land necessary for the public service. The Welsh Ministers also have power to require acquisition of land where they are satisfied, after holding a local inquiry, that the local authority has failed to take steps for the acquisition of land which in the Welsh Ministers’ opinion ought to be acquired by that authority.

TCPA 1990 also confers a power on local authorities to acquire land by agreement and contains provisions in relation to:

  • the appropriation, disposal and development of land held for planning purposes by local authorities;
  • the disposal of land held by the Welsh Ministers which was acquired as being necessary for public service;
  • the consent of the Welsh Ministers for the disposal of land by a local authority, required where the disposal is for a consideration “less than the best that can reasonably be obtained” (except where the disposal is of a lease for seven years or less);
  • the extinguishment of certain rights affecting acquired or appropriated land;
  • the constitution of a joint body formed to hold land for planning purposes. 
Published on
Last updated
18 June 2021