Guide Purchasing council property & acquiring other interests in council owned land

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11. Important points that you should be aware of

Public open space

If you wish to purchase or lease land which is held as open space, the Local Government Act 1972 requires the Council to publicise its disposal in a local newspaper for two consecutive weeks and to consider any objections received. You will have to pay for the cost of the public notice and will be given a quotation for the cost at the time. You will have to pay these costs to the Council’s Legal Services team before the Council will request publication of these notices. If the Council receive any objections to the disposal, these will have to be considered before a decision is made as to whether or not the Council will proceed with the disposal.

Open market sale

The Council is obliged by law, under the Local Government Act 1972, to sell land for the best price reasonably obtainable. This means that in some cases if, following consultation, it is considered that the land you have asked to purchase could be of interest to other parties or could be sold for development land, the Council must advertise it for sale on the open market. In such a case you will be sent sales details once prepared and will be able to make an offer for the land along with any other interested party. Please note that in such cases, your administration fee will be refundable.

Administration fee

Before the Council can start work on your application, you will need to pay the appropriate non-refundable administration fee. It is payable to offset some of the costs involved in processing your application, but it does not cover the full cost. Payment of the fee will not guarantee that your application is approved and it is entirely separate to the valuation of the land. This fee is reviewed each year and effective from 1st April. There are no exemptions.

Planning consent

Planning consent may be needed for change of use or development of the land, or for other matters such as fencing and boundary treatment. You are responsible for checking if planning consent is required and you should make your own enquiries about this aspect of your proposals with the Planning Service (see contacts list).

It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any required consents. Should you submit a planning application to include Council owned land, you must serve the appropriate notice to the Council’s Estates Team. Please note that the Council’s role as a land owner is completely separate from that of Planning Authority. Therefore, although you may be granted planning consent, this does not guarantee that your application to the Council, as landowner, will be approved.

Variation to restrictive covenants

You may need to seek consent from us, as former landowner, to a variation of a restrictive covenant affecting your title to land. This consent should be sought well in advance of any plans you may have to develop your land.

Other fees

Once a sale has been agreed, you will be required to pay the Council’s surveyors fees and a contribution towards the Council’s legal fees, before the Council’s Legal Services team prepare any documentation. For guidance please refer to the fee list.