Compulsory Purchase Orders

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This is a backup of the West Yorkshire Archive Service's "Off the Record" wiki from 2015. The live went offline in 2016 and remains unavailable.

Compulsory Purchase Orders


Local Authorities have power under various Acts to compulsory purchase property/land. The powers range from redevelopment under the Town and Country Planning Act, to property clearance under the Housing Act. The Council must have a specific power under statute before a Compulsory Purchase Order can be made. Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) can be used for a number of purposes, including:

Clearance of unfit housing - Housing Acts

Bringing empty properties back into use - Housing Acts

Development or regeneration - Town and Country Planning Acts

Local road schemes/railways - Highways Acts


Compulsory purchase orders may be found in orders for any of the above. Some are kept as specific records and a search of catalogues under the address may provide some information.

In England most Orders are made as subordinate legislation under powers given to Local Authorities in existing legislation (e.g. an Order for road works is made under the Highways Act 1980). The records are included in local authority administration files. The Local Authority must demonstrate that the taking of the land is necessary and there is a "compelling case in the public interest". Owners or occupiers can challenge this, and their objection will be heard by an independent Inspector.

Retention of records are at the discretion of the record creators, in most instances the Local Authority. It is possible that records deposited at the archives may not include full details of any Compulsory Purchase Orders or any disputes related to it.

Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) for the Wakefield area in the period post 1974 are held by the Land Information Office, Property Management, Room 44, County Hall, Bond Street, Wakefield WF1 2QW (Tel:01924 305057 / 305058).


Prior to 1974 there are some registers of documents with County Council Seal from 1937-1969 which includes some CPOs (see RA/7/1-3). Also see QS10.

Records of Compulsory Purchase Orders for addresses in the Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees may be retained and deposited in the relevant archive office. For further information please contact the relevant archive office, contact details can be found at www.archives.wyjs.org.uk