Taking possession and legal title to the land
71. If the authority does not implement the order within three years from the date that it published notice of the confirmation of the order the compulsory purchase order lapses. The authority should aim to minimise the period of uncertainty for the people affected. Generally, it should take possession and legal title to the land, and pay any compensation due, as quickly as possible. However, in some cases it may be in the best interests of the people affected for the authority to wait until it is ready to proceed with the next stage of its scheme 39 . Engaging properly with the people affected may help the authority to identify and address people's concerns.
Notice to treat procedure
72. Under this procedure the authority could get entry to the land in as little as 14 days 40 . If using this procedure the authority should consider the steps that the people affected will need to take to vacate their properties. Where possible it should adopt a timetable that takes into account the needs of owners, tenants and occupiers. Even when that is not possible, it should give people as much notice as possible of proposed events. For example, when serving the notice to treat, it should give an indication of approximate date that it intends taking entry.
73. When acquiring agricultural land or business premises the authority should be aware that owners or tenants may need to know the entry date earlier than others, because of (for agricultural owners) crop cycles and/or the need to find alternative premises. It should also be aware that short notice periods often result in higher compensation claims.
74. If the authority is acquiring part only of someone's land the owner may have the right to serve a notice of objection to severance 41 . It is good practice for the authority to advise the owner of this at the time it serves the notice to treat.
General Vesting Declaration ( GVD)
75. Under GVD the authority can get title before it has agreed compensation with the owner, and without having to satisfy itself as to the owner's title. Also, using a GVD can reduce the administration burden, particularly if the authority is acquiring multiple interests.
76. After acquiring title by GVD the authority may lease the land back to the former owner or tenant if it does not need entry to the land immediately. However, it should draw up the lease carefully to ensure that the authority can take possession of the land when it needs to.
77. If the authority is acquiring only part of someone's land the owner or tenant may have the right to serve a notice of objection to severance. The owner is advised of this at the time the authority serves the notice stating the effect of the GVD.