Compulsory purchase of property


Certain statutory bodies can take land or property without the consent of the owner by means of a compulsory purchase order (CPO). Compulsory purchase usually takes place to allow a public infrastructure project to go ahead for the common good. CPOs are most often used for road improvement schemes and urban development schemes, such as the LUAS project in Dublin.

The compulsory purchase system is an extremely complex area. You should get the professional advice of a chartered surveyor as soon as you are served with a notice relating to a compulsory purchase order (CPO). The fees charged by a chartered surveyor are part of a normal claim for compensation.

It is important to remember that you have the right to object, make representations, negotiate, refer to property arbitrators and have your objections heard.


If your house and land are compulsorily purchased, you will be eligible for compensation to restore you as far as possible to the same position as you were in before the land and property were acquired.

  • You should be paid compensation based on the market value of your property
  • You should be left in the same financial position after the CPO as you were before the process
  • The compensation should reflect both the actual land acquired and the reduction in value, if any, of the retained area as a result of the CPO

The Society of Chartered Surveyors has published a client guide on CPOs and compensation.

Derelict or dangerous property

Each local authority has responsibility for dealing with derelict sites, dangerous places and dangerous structures in its area.

A local authority can buy dangerous land in its area (including land that is no longer dangerous because the local authority has carried out work on it), either by agreement with the owner or by compulsory purchase. The same applies to derelict sites.

The local authority must advertise the details of any proposed compulsory purchase in the local newspaper and send a notice to the owner or occupier of the land, giving information about how and where to object to the proposed purchase.

In the case of a dangerous place, a notice must be posted either on or near the land, giving details of the local authority's intentions.

If an objection is made, the local authority cannot buy the land without the consent of An Bord Pleanála. If An Bord Pleanála approves the compulsory purchase and the local authority has dealt with any objections received, the local authority can buy the land, using a vesting order.

Page edited: 28 March 2019