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24th September 2020

Have Your Say - Land Control

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The Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government has issued a consultation on increasing the transparency of land data. The proposal is that there is an open register which holds information as to which developers, promoters or others have an interest in land and what that interest is. The idea is that this transparency (as to who holds options, rights of pre-emption and conditional contracts over registered land) will allow easier identification of land that may be available for development and therefore assist with bringing that land to market.

The proposal is that the public will see the length of the interest, whether the interest is assignable and the extent of land it affects but does not require disclosure of any financial aspects of the relevant arrangement. Arguably, the current proposals will do little to help bring sites to market, will dispense with commercial confidentiality and increase the administrative burden on developers.

Some will argue that it is not lack of information that prevents sites being developed as those in the market will know of potential development sites. The barriers to developing smaller infill sites tend to be the cost of site assembly, finance, planning restraints and other compliance measures. It appears that although this proposal is aimed at unlocking land for the housing market, as currently drawn it would not achieve this objective and may have a much wider impact. The consultation is open until 30th October 2020 and all developers, agents, owners and promoters are encouraged to respond by clicking here.

For assistance on any development matters please contact Claire Howard-Amos on 01604 463323 or click here to email her.