Blight: What does it mean and how does it work?

There are number of major infrastructure schemes under construction and planned in the northwest including the A556 bypass, Congleton Link Road and HS2. When schemes of this scale are proposed, the word ‘Blight’ is mentioned far more frequently.

What is Blight?

When the value of your property is reduced because of large scale schemes, this is referred to as Blight. It can make it difficult for property owners to sell their home at market value and as a result they may have to sell at a reduced price.

What to do if you think your property is blighted by a scheme?
If you consider that a major scheme has significantly reduced the value of your property, you are able to serve a blight notice on the authority or company (responsible for the scheme), requesting that they purchase the property in advance of it being required for the scheme at its full market value (unblighted).

Who can serve a Blight Notice?

Not everyone can serve a Blight Notice, only certain properties are able to serve a Notice.

The property must be either:
· a dwelling, business premises or mixed dwelling/business premises
· an agricultural unit
Or
· Freeholder/ Leaseholder (a 3 year minimum term remaining on any lease)
Or
· Have an eligible interest in land

You are unable to serve a blight notice until the preferred route is announced and/or protected with the local authority. For example the HS2 Phase 2A is safeguarded area and people affected can now serve blight notice unlike the section north of Crewe.

What must be undertaken prior to serving a Blight Notice?

You must have marketed your property to sell at a realistic unblighted price and prove that you have been unable to do so. Evidence such as; adverts in the press, sale particulars and a certificate from an estate agent stating that the property cannot be sold for a reasonable amount would be sufficient.

Tom Selby of Rostons quoted “Property owners who believe their property may be affected or blighted by a scheme should seek professional advice and liaise with the acquiring authority as soon as possible to discuss any issues”.

For further information contact the Rostons office on 01829 773000