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In Many Cases Compulsory Purchase Schemes Are Wholly Or Partly Funded By The Private Sector. As Individuals’ Fundamental Human Rights Are Being Interfered With Consider Whether The Use Of “Back To Back” Arrangements For

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Compulsory purchase in commonвЂ"law is the acquisition in accordance with statutory procedures and practice, of interests in land or rights, by a body empowered to do so by an Act of Parliament, and authorized so to do by an appropriate Compulsory Purchase Order(CPO). Such a process entitles the purchaser to deprive the, usually unwilling, owner or occupier of their property, upon payment of compensation, as provided for by statute. The land should be purchased for use that is in the Public interest, as approved by Parliament. (Wikipedia)

Often the situation can arise when a local authority will use a CPO to acquire a piece of land from one developer to then transfer to developer from the private sector, this private developer will then have physical possession of the land for redevelopment.

The private sector is part of a country's economy consisting of privately owned and operated businesses, etc excluding the government. These private developers work for profit and not for the public interest. (A Case of Robbing Peter to Pay Paul, 2007)

This private developer will then pay for the redevelopment of the land and will reimburse the council all cost for the CPO, land or property and interest plus extra costs incurred. This is known as a �back-to-back’ agreement.

This back-to-back agreement is often used when an area is in need of redevelopment and the local authority do not own the whole site or have enough funds to carry out the development. Although the authority transfers the site over to another developer, they still have the final say in what the land use is to be.

An example of this can be seen in the Standard Vs Glasgow City Council case. Glasgow City council wanted to redevelop a site that had multi occupiers, with standard and atlas being the main two. A CPO was issued by the council for the site as to save having to come to arrangements with all of the numerous occupiers. However the council did not have the funds to redevelop the whole site and so transferred it to Atlas in a back to back agreement.

Back-to-back agreements can be very controversial, with a lot of conflicting arguments for and against them, depending on how each of the different parties is affected. Human rights are often the main source of conflict as certain parties gain by taking property at the expense of others. This property or land is taken from them without any consent.

It is always necessary for the acquiring authority to be sure that the purposes for which it is making a CPO can sufficiently justify interfering with the human rights of those with an interest in the land affected. Article 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, which deals with the protection of property, reads:

Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No-one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law . . ." (Alliance)

The introduction of the third party private developer in the back-to-back agreement causes concern as arguments are raised because they will usually use the land for their own profit and not for the public interest. This can then be reflected on the local authority as they then too appear to have acted only for their own interest and profit.

Arguments can be made for and against the use of back-to-back agreements. In some cases it may be that the use of a back to back agreement will enable the redevelopment of a run down area providing uses for the public interest e.g. better infrastructure and facilities. However others may not see such agreements as plainly as this and may feel victimized by such agreements, with the views that private sectors have been able to re-develop an area of land for their own profit which they otherwise would not be able to.

There have been many arguments that have been raised in order to appeal against the use of back to back agreements as the parties who have interest in the sites feel their human rights are being affected. It has been said that, вЂ?the use of back to back agreements is taking power in a reverse Robin Hood fashionвЂ" take from the poor, give to the richвЂ" would become the norm, not the exception: "Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms." (Kelo)

Standard appealed against Glasgow city council over the compulsory purchase of their property as they were of the opinion that the council did not have the power to enter into a back to back agreement, following the considerations under section 189 of the 1997 act when it should have been section 191. The council had entered into a back to back agreement with Atlas before the CPO was served. This is a good case for showing how human rights are infringed by an agreement being made with a private developer before the owners and occupiers of the land have even be able to have their say or put their plans forward. It could be the case that the current occupiers of the land would be willing to redevelop their sites or agree to development of the site as a whole.

Another argument that can be made against the back to back is that the owner of the land/property that is being taken due to a CPO feels that the compensation that they are receiving is not enough. This appeal is made in the Alliance vs. Secretary of the State case. Alliance were concerned that it would be impossible to find suitable alternative premises and that compensation payable

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