person on a bike in field of flowers saints way

Cornwall Council proposals for the Saints Trails have taken a major step forward.

The Council has made a compulsory purchase order (CPO) which will enable the Council to acquire the land they require for this section of the Scheme if negotiations with individual landowners fail to reach agreement.

Whilst the Council has made the CPO it cannot be implemented until it has been confirmed by the relevant Secretary of State who will normally delegate responsibility for confirming a CPO to an inspector.

Confirmation of CPO will require the Council to demonstrate that they have taken reasonable steps to acquire all of the land and rights it requires for the scheme by agreement.  Whilst compulsory purchase is intended as a power of last resort the Council does not have to wait for negotiations to break down before starting the CPO process but may run that process and the negotiations side by side.

Those directly affected by the CPO (i.e. owners, tenants or occupiers) have the right to object to the CPO and unless those objections are withdrawn or disregarded they will be heard at a public inquiry. Objections can be made by persons who are not directly affected such as community groups and special interest organisations.

As it is government policy that CPO powers should only be used where there is a ‘compelling case in the public interest’ the test is whether the public interest in the scheme outweighs the interest of affected landowners and occupiers and there must be no hurdles to overcome in delivering the scheme. For example; funding has been secured, planning permission has been obtained.

Objectors normally fall into three categories:

  • Those that agree with the scheme but wish to see some amendments to minimise impacts on them or to adjust the extent of land take;
  • Those that agree with the scheme but feel it should follow another route; and
  • Those that object to the scheme completely for one of the following reasons:
    • it doesn’t meet the statutory purchase for which it is made;
    • there is no requirement for the scheme;
    • the land is not required as there is an alternative means of achieving the scheme’s objective;
    • retaining the existing use of the land is more important that the purpose for which it is being acquired; or
    • the scheme is not viable or there is insufficient funding for its implementation.

Please note that objections that relate solely to matters of compensation and land severance can be disregarded.

The Saints Trails – How we can help?

If you are affected by the current proposals we are offering a free 30 minute consultation to talk through your situation, explain your options and let you know how we can help.

Please contact Tim Walmsley, a Partner in our Real Estate Team on 01872 265104 or

Tim is a member of the Compulsory Purchase Association and has extensive experience of infrastructure projects and compulsory purchase matters arising from them. He has advised on the promotion and implementation of a number of large transport projects and currently is advising clients who are having land taken for a variety of schemes.