A wide range of bodies has distinct compulsory acquisition powers in their constituent legislation.
The Air Navigation and Transport Act empowers The Minister for Transport (Communications) and local authorities to acquire lands compulsorily, for the purpose of establishing aerodromes and ancillary facilities.
It may be acquired by agreement or compulsorily. The plans etc. are deposited for public inspection. The Minister shall, if he considers it expedient cause of local enquiry to be held. The acquisition order incorporates the Land Clauses Consolidation Act and the 1919 act on compensation.
The National Monuments Acts provides that the Office of Public Works, with the consent of the Minister, may acquire by agreement or compulsorily, a national monument or land in its vicinity. Compensation is payable in accordance with the 1919 act. The Land Clauses Consolidation Act procedures apply.
The Arterial Drainage Act allows the OPW to prepare and implement drainage schemes. It may acquire land, rights and easements the purpose of the scheme. Compensation is payable to any person having in an estate or interest in the land acquired or in lands interfered with, during the construction phase or permanently, in pursuance of the drainage scheme.
A person who suffers loss and damage, to any canal, waterway, fishery by reason of the operation generally of the drainage works or any particular mode or course of operation of the work.
The application is made to the OPW. The time limits for making the claim, vary with the type of loss or interference involved. In the event of disagreement, the matter is determined by an arbitration nominated by a reference committee, from a panel of drainage arbitrators. Their decision on compensation is final.
The Open Spaces Act allows the local authority to acquire open spaces and burial grounds by agreement or compulsorily. The power to extends trustees, corporations and other bodies, having care and management of open spaces. Compensation is paid by the authority by whom the right or estate is acquired or injuriously affected. It is ascertained and determined in accordance with the Land Clauses Consolidation Act.
The law on the acquisition of lands for use as railways has been updated by the Railway Infrastructure Act 2001. See the separate section on that legislation.
The National Roads Authority may make a motorway scheme, a busway scheme or a protected road scheme. The scheme is in a prescribed form and specifies various matters, including particulars of the rights and the lands to be compulsorily acquired. It may include provision for the extinguishment of public rights and for closure, restriction or diversion of access to land.
Before submitting a scheme to an Bord Pleanala, the NRA is to publish particulars in newspapers, stating that the scheme has been made and setting out where that it may be inspected. It must state that objections may be made within a specified period. Notices are to be served on every owner or occupier, who in the opinion of the authority, is affected by the proposed scheme. It must specify the nature and extent of the scheme, that it will be submitted for approval and the periods during which objection may be made.
Before approving the scheme, an Bord Pleanala shall cause a public enquiry to be heard to consider objections and other matters and shall consider the report and recommendation of the person holding the enquiry. An Bord Pleanala may approve the scheme with or without modifications or may refuse the scheme.
Whenever a scheme is approved, the road authority is authorised to acquire by agreement or compulsorily, any land and rights relating to land, required for the purpose of the scheme. The scheme is deemed to be a compulsory purchase order in the same manner as one made by a road authority, under the preceding legislation.
A claim for compensation must be made within six months of the date on which the scheme was approved. It is determined in default of agreement, by arbitration in accordance with the 1919 Act. In assessing compensation, regard is to be had to any new means of access provided by the roads authority and where appropriate, to any existing means of access which remains. A claim for compensation may be made in relation to planning permission which is revoked or modified by reason of the scheme.
Canals, Harbours, & Marine Works
The OPW has the power to acquire and dispose of land or easements over land, for the purpose of its functions as canal authority. It may apply to the Minister for Finance for an order authorising the compulsory acquisition. The proposed scheme is publicised and requests for observations and submissions are sought. Where no objection is made within one month, or where an objection is made and rejected, the Minister shall make an order authorising the OPW to acquire the lands and/ or easements etc. The 1919 Act applies to compensation and the 1845 Act applies to the acquisition procedure.
Under the Marine Works (Ireland) Act, the OPW has the power to construct and improve marine works. This includes construction works and operations for the improvement of navigation. The modern legislation on compulsory acquisition of harbours is the Harbours Acts and the Fishery Harbours Centres Acts.
The Harbours, Docks and Piers Clauses Act is a (Victorian) model act dealing with certain aspects of the development and acquisition of harbours. It applies only, to certain state harbours vested in the OPW. It does not affect most harbours managed under the Harbours Act.
A harbour authority, with the consent of the Minister, may acquire land by agreement or compulsorily in accordance with a harbour works order. The Minister may approve the acquisition under the terms of a harbours work order. The order shall provide for the payment of compensation to person\’s having estates in the land. Disputes on compensation are referred to arbitration under the 1919 Act. The order incorporates the provisions of the Land Clauses Consolidation Act.
The procedure under the Fishery Harbour Centres Acts allows the Minister for the Marine to declare a defined are in respect of the designated fishery harbours. The Minister may acquire compulsorily or by agreement land, land within a fishery harbour centre. Compensation is dealt with under the 1919 Act, in default of agreement.
Coast, Gardai & HSE
The Coast Protection Act allows the OPW, at the request of the local authority, to make a scheme to protect against encroachment of the sea. The OPW prepares the scheme and the local authority promotes it. The local authority publishes notices and serves notices on persons affected. There are rights to compulsorily acquire lands and easements. Compensation is payable in accordance with the 1919 Act.
The Garda Siochana (Acquisition of Sites and Retention of Premises) Act 1948 allows the OPW to acquire lands for Garda stations or for houses and accommodation for members of an Garda Siochana. The OPW makes the relevant plans available for inspection and gives notice of the intention to make the order. The order incorporates 1919 Act and the Land Clauses Consolidation Act.
The HSE has powers to acquire lands by agreement or compulsorily for the purpose of its function. The provisions are broadly similar to those under the Housing Act, which are dealt with in another section.
The Arterial Drainage Act allows for the preparation and confirmation of schemes for drainage work. Once the scheme is concluded, the Minister may compulsorily acquire land and easements. He may do work which interferes with lands, fisheries water rights and bridges. He may take and remove material and or anything else necessary to implement the scheme.
After the scheme is confirmed, the Commissioners are to acquire land, easements and other rights which are necessary for the scheme. The lands may be compulsorily acquired. In default of agreement, compensation is paid under the 1919 Act. There is no provision for notice to treat or for submission of compensation. The purpose of compensation is to put the owner in the position, which he would have been in, but for the injurious acts. He must take all reasonable steps to mitigate his loss.
Regards is to be had to rules 1 to 6 in the 1919 Act. It has been held that a claimant is entitled to compensation in respect of fisheries upstream. This includes reduction of the value of the fishery and disturbance. Any benefit to property, whether or not the property is the subject of the compensation, owned by the person claiming compensation arising from the drainage scheme itself, is to be taken into account so that the benefit received is set off against compensation.
There is no specific provision for interest. The valuation date on which possession is taken or that date on which compensation is assessed, if earlier. In many cases, the damage is in the nature of injurious affection or disturbance. This is measured as the reduction in value of the land concerned. There is a separate head of compensation, for interference during the construction of the drainage works.
Persons who suffer loss or injury, other than by way of interference to any canal, waterway, fisheries or water power after completion of the works may claim compensation. The claim must be made within three years, and in the case of fisheries, ten years.
Land Purchase Acts
Under the Constitution, the natural resources of the state within the jurisdiction vest in the State subject to all estates and the interests therein, vested in third parties. Under the Land Purchase Acts, lands were usually vested in tenant farmers with mines and minerals excepted unto the Land Commission. The Land Commissioners was given statutory powers to enter and work minerals. It had the power to lease them at a fixed or royalty rent.
The Land Act, 1923, which sought to automatically vest the remaining unvested agricultural tenanted land, provided that the exclusive rights of mining, taking and digging for minerals, including mineral rights are vested in the State. It did not apply to mines and quarries that were being worked and developed by the owner when the legislation took effect, nor to any stone, gravel, sand or clay quarries.
The is subject to the principle that where rights which became vested in the State are thereafter let or sold, the person who would have been entitled to them, if they had not been so vested became entitled to receive such share of the rents, purchase monies etc. as shall be determined. The rights of exploration onshore and offshore are vested in the relevant government minister.
The Fisheries Act deals with the acquisitions of fisheries. In this context, fisheries refer to the right to take fish within a specific area of water, typically part of a river. The Minister, on application by the fisheries body, may authorise the acquisition of a particular fishery by Inland Fisheries, where this is required for carrying out a development program.
The order made by the Minister shall permit the authority to acquire the bed and source of water when they form part of a fishery together with an associated estate in land, rights of access and other easements required for the preservation, conservation, operation and development of the fishery being acquired. The provisions allow for the acquisition of fishery paths, beside lakes and rivers to give fishermen access. There is provision for the assessment and payment of compensation.
The ESB has powers to acquire fisheries under its early hydroelectric based legislation. The Shannon Fisheries Act 1935 reregulated the position in respect of fishing and fisheries rights vested in the ESP. It confirmed the rights of a person who suffered loss or damage to a fishery on the river Shannon arising out of the operation of the Shannon hydroelectrical work. The Act continues the powers of the ESB to compulsorily acquire fisheries and fishing rights over the Shannon basin. Compensation is payable. The 1919 and 1845 Acts applies.
The Department of Defence has powers to acquire land used by the Defence Forces. The Minister declares his intention to acquire the land. The order operates to confer the Minister power to compulsorily acquire the land. Compensation is payable in accordance with the 1919 Act.
Mines & Minerals
Mines and minerals are vested in the State, subject to any other estates and rights that exist in them. Under the Land Purchase Acts, minerals and rights were generally reserved to the Land Commission, and ultimately the State. The Minerals Development Act 1979 vested the exclusive right of working scheduled minerals in the State in the Minister. There was an exception for persons who are lawfully working or developing mines and minerals on commencement of the legislation. Stone, gravel, sand and clay are not minerals under the Act. Scheduled minerals are set out.
A right of compensation is provided under the Mineral Development Act 1979 to persons having an interest in minerals, before the exclusive right of working vested in the Minister.
The Minister may make a mining facilities acquisition order. He may acquire land and ancillary rights necessary for the efficient and convenient exploitation of State minerals. Ancillary rights cover rights in relation to access, construction of underground facilities, disposal of spoil, diversion of watercourses, pipes and demolition of buildings.
Compensation is payable and must be paid within two months or such longer period as the Minister may allow. Part VII of the 1940 Act provides for compensation. It is determined by the Mining Board in the absence of an agreement.
The right to run electric wires through land is provided by the Electricity Supply Acts. It grants power to attach brackets and fixtures to premises for the purpose of electrical apparatus. The Supreme Court held that a power to run electricity wires over land without compensation was unconstitutional. In response, the Electricity Supply Act 1985 provided an entitlement of the owner or occupier to be paid compensation. Notice is given to the owner and occupier. Compensation is assessed under 1919 Act for the actual damage incurred in entry, installation and maintenance in place of the relevant wires and apparatus.
Under the Gas Act, there is power to construct and maintain pipelines in place. There is no automatic right to enter land to do so. This must be acquired by compulsory acquisition. The authority applies to an Bord Pleanala for an acquisition order. It may acquire land or rights over land. If the application is for a pipeline, it must show the strip concerned and the deviation limits within which it may be constructed or placed. Where an acquisition order is made, it applies to land within the corridor parallel to the pipe.