‘Never lose sight of those affected by compulsory purchase orders’

Swinney tells organisations to think of the people who may lose their homes and businesses

Organisations thinking of using compulsory purchase orders have been warned to “never lose sight” of the people affected.

Finance Secretary John Swinney issued the advice as a consultation on the use of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) was launched yesterday.

It follows concerns from residents living in the way of Donald Trump’s golf resort in Aberdeenshire who feared their homes on the Menie Estate might be threatened until the organisation said it would not ask for the use of CPOs.

Another 60 people living Tillydrone, Aberdeen, face losing part of their properties to make way for a third crossing across the River Don.

The Scottish Government said it was seeking to update 35-year-old guidance to local authorities and other organisations.

In his introduction to the consultation paper, Mr Swinney said CPOs were a “valuable tool” to allow projects in the public interest to go ahead when it proved impossible to acquire the land through agreement.

Mr Swinney said: “It is vitally important that an authority considering compulsory purchase never loses sight of the people affected.

“The impact on someone of losing his or her home or business can be enormous.

“One of the key messages in the new guidance is compulsory purchase need not be a heavy-handed process. Key to this is the early, ongoing and meaningful consultation and engagement with those affected.”

David Milne, who feared he would lose his home, Hermit Point, to make way for Mr Trump’s £750million golf development, said he hoped the consultation would pave the way for better treatment of all those threatened by a CPO.

“If this is carried out in such a manner that results in changes to the legislation, it has to be a significant, positive step for protecting the human rights of the citizens of Scotland,” he said.

Aberdeen Central Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald, who is looking after the interests of constituents affected by the proposed Don crossing, said the views of those affected had to be taken into account.

“It is essential consultation is not a token gesture as it has been in many cases and it is honest and straightforward,” he said.

“In the case of the third Don crossing, the people affected by the CPOs have had no opportunity to influence the view of the council.”

Full Story: pressandjournal.co.uk

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