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Planning Blight and Blight notices

If the council or another public authority is planning a development in your area that affects your home, you could find it hard to sell your home for a reasonable price. However, you may be able to force them to buy your home by serving a blight notice. This page explains what planning blight is, what blight notices do and how you may be able to get one.

What is a blight notice?

If a planned public development such as a new motorway, airport extension, railway line or energy plant is affecting the value of your home, this is known as 'planning blight', because your home has been 'blighted' or spoilt by the planned work. A blight notice is a legal notice that you can serve on the authority responsible for the development if you want them to buy your home so you can move away. This page uses the example of the council as a public authority, but you can find out more about public developments and the authorities responsible for them here.

For example, you may want to apply for a blight notice if:

  • your home is next to a proposed new road or motorway, or a road that is due to be widened
  • your home is near land that's needed by a utilities company, for example, to lay gas pipes or build a wind farm
  • your home is in or near a housing renewal area where homes are to be demolished
  • your home is subject to a compulsory purchase order (CPO) and you want to move away, but the CPO process is moving very slowly.

Who can apply for a blight notice?

You should be able to apply for a blight notice if:

  • you own your home, and
  • the council or another public authority is planning a development in your area, and
  • your home is subject to a compulsory purchase order (CPO), or is likely to be subject to a CPO in the future, or
  • you can't sell your home on the open market because of the development, or
  • the value of your home has dropped significantly because of the development, or
  • your home will be badly affected by the planned work, and
  • you can't get the authority to agree to buy your home voluntarily.

How do I get a blight notice?

To serve a blight notice, you need to fill in a standard form, which you can get from the council or authority.

Talk to a solicitor if you're in this situation, as blight notices are not easy to get. Your solicitor will be able to:

  • advise you on your options
  • send the authority the blight notice on your behalf
  • agree a good price for your home
  • negotiate compensation
  • carry out the legal conveyancing work involved in selling your home.

Once you've sent a blight notice to the council, it has to let you know within two months whether or not it will buy your home, and if not, why not.

If the council doesn't get back to you within two months, the blight notice will go ahead automatically and the council will have to buy your home.

What if the council won't buy my home?

Blight notices aren't very common in Scotland, so you may find it hard to get one. If the council refuses to buy your home without good reason, you may be able to appeal to the Lands Tribunal - you can find out how to apply at the Lands Tribunal website. Talk to a solicitor before you apply - they will be able to tell you if it's worth pursuing your case.

Can I get compensation?

You may be able to claim a home loss payment when you move out, but the council won't have any duty to rehouse you, so you'll have to find a new home yourself.

Scotland map Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.
This content applies to Scotland only.
Get advice if you're in England

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