Engaging Early With The People Affected
4. Scottish Ministers strongly encourage authorities to involve people in the decisions that affect them. The authority should seek to listen to, consult and engage with the people affected before, during and after the compulsory purchase process.
5. Engaging early with the people potentially affected by a compulsory purchase order can help allay concerns, let people know what the authority is proposing and how it will affect them. Such engagement can help identify and address difficulties and potentially save time and money. It can even remove the need for compulsory purchase by identifying another suitable way to realise the authority's purpose.
6. As well as the people directly affected, the authority should consider engaging with key agencies, community councils and community planning partnerships, where appropriate. 5
Attempting to buy the land by agreement before making a compulsory purchase order
7. Where practicable, the authority should try to buy the land it needs by agreement before making a compulsory purchase order. However, Scottish Ministers recognise that in some cases it may be impossible or impracticable for the authority to acquire all interests by agreement in the project timeframe or at a reasonable cost. The lack of an attempt to purchase by agreement will not prevent Ministers from confirming a compulsory purchase order, as long as the authority can justify its approach. Scottish Ministers do not expect the authority to attempt to purchase by agreement where this would not be practicable 6 . The authority should take a realistic view, depending on the circumstances, on whether it is practicable to attempt to acquire the land by agreement. The date by which the authority needs entry to the land may be particularly important in determining the approach that it takes.
8. There is little to be gained in prolonging unproductive negotiations if the authority is prepared to make a compulsory purchase order. Given the amount of time that the compulsory purchase process can take, it may often be appropriate to make a compulsory purchase order at an early stage. In some cases there may be benefits in making a compulsory purchase order in parallel with negotiations to purchase by agreement 7 . In larger schemes with multiple interests it may be effective and avoid delays for the authority to decide at an early stage to make a compulsory purchase order to acquire the whole site.